Attila József
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Attila József 209  Attila József (1905–37) To Sit, to Stand, to Kill, to Die To give this chair a wicked shove, to sit in front of a fast train, cautiously to climb a mountain, to shake my knapsack down below, to feed bees to my feeble spider, to caress someone’s old woman, to sip good tasting bean soup, there is mud—to walk on tiptoes, to put my new hat on the tracks, to skirt the bank of a blue lake, to squat, clothed, on its bottom, to sunbathe amid tinkling foam, to flower with the sunflowers, or to sigh for something, fine, good, to simply brush a fly away, or just wipe off my dusty book, to spit in my mirror’s center, to embrace my dark enemies, to kill them all with a long knife, to study how their blood drips, drips, or to watch a girl turn, legs, hips, to make Budapest a bonfire, to wait for birds to come to crumbs, to slam my bad bread to the ground, to force my good lover to cry, to comfort her little sister, if I owe accounts to this world, to leave them, it, unaccounted for— O binding me, dissolving me, who now makes me write this poem, 210 Hungarian who makes me laugh, who makes me cry, my life, who makes me choose. Attila József He was merry, good, and perhaps stubborn when they crossed him in his beliefs. He liked to eat and in one or two things he bore a striking resemblance to god. From a jewish doctor he got a coat, while most of his relatives called him: Hope-Never-To-See-You-Again. In the orthodox church he found no rest— only priests. His decay was like his country’s. Well, that’s life, don’t anyone cry. Michael Paul Novak and Bela Kiralyfalvi, 1968 ...