This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: View From the Side.
Attila József (April 11, 1905 – December 3, 1937) is a well-known Hungarian poet. In 1980, a statue to honor József was erected on Kossuth Square in front of the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest. During Viktor Orbán’s tenure as Prime Minister, it was decided to move the statue closer to the banks of the Danube.
Attila József published his poem By the Danube in 1936. The following is an excerpt (our selection) from the poem, with translation by John Székely.
As I sat on the bottom step of the wharf,
A melon-rind flowed by with the current;
Wrapped in my fate I hardly heard the chatter
Of the surface, while the deep was silent.
As if my own heart had opened its gate:
The Danube was turbulent, wise and great.
And the rain began to fall but then it stopped
Just as if it couldn’t have mattered less,
And like one watching the long rain from a cave,
I gazed away into the nothingness.
Like grey, endless rain from the skies overcast,
So fell drably all that was bright: the past.
But the Danube flowed on.
I am he who for a hundred thousand year
Has gazed on what he now sees the first time.
One brief moment and, fulfilled, all time appears
In a hundred thousand forbears’ eyes and mine.
In the Danube’s waves past, present and future
Are all-embracing in a soft caress.
The photo was taken on April 21, 2019. Specs are:
Canon 200D, ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/80 sec, 35 mm.