I'm off to Hungary


And I make absolutely no apology for reposting a poem I’ve blogged before, actually more than once, by a Hungarian poet…

The Poem of Darkness

Once more, the vigil season!
Broad pen-strokes on my sheet look grim.
Night’s rust-juice floods the gardens,
by six full to the brim.
damp oozes from the mouldering trees,
you muse on how much time
you’ve left. Your foot stops dead, in fear
of stumbling into a tomb…
But tell me: have you ever let
a snow-white sugar-cube soak up
dark liquid, dipped in the bitter night
of coffee in its cup?
Or watched how the dense liquid,
so surely, so insidiously,
will seep up through the white cube’s
pure, crystalline body?
Just so the night seeps into you,
slowly rising, the smells
of night and of the grave all through
your veins, fibres, cells,
until one dank brown evening,
so steeped in it, you melt and sink –
to sweeten, for some unknown god,
his dark and bitter drink.

Dsida Jeno, 1938
translated by George Gomori & Clive Wilmer

There’s no sugar lump on my saucer above – sugar-dipping is not a domestic activity. I’m looking forward to exploring the cafés of Budapest as recommended by Karen, who isn’t there, and Maria, who is, and dipping many a lump.

Then it’s off to a small village on the shore of Lake Balaton for the Internet Hungary 2006 Conference at which, on Wednesday, I am talking about Global Voices and citizen journalism.

And now I must go and start packing. I notice that I have only 33 30 minutes before I must leave.

3 Replies to “I'm off to Hungary”

  1. Jó utat kivánok!

    (Here’s hoping my Hungarian phrase book is telling the truth about how to say “bon voyage!”)

  2. The famous coffehaus-culture existed in Hungary befor the World War II. There are again a few good places, but they are closer to the western “cofee bar” stlye than the pre-war, koffehauses (sill existing in Wienna) See you in Tihany at the Internet Hungary:-)

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