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József Attila: Mama (Mama in English)

Portre of József Attila

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Mama (Hungarian)

Már egy hete csak a mamára
gondolok mindíg, meg-megállva.
Nyikorgó kosárral ölében,
ment a padlásra, ment serényen.

Én még őszinte ember voltam,
ordítottam, toporzékoltam.
Hagyja a dagadt ruhát másra.
Engem vigyen föl a padlásra.

Csak ment és teregetett némán,
nem szidott, nem is nézett énrám
s a ruhák fényesen, suhogva,
keringtek, szálltak a magosba.

Nem nyafognék, de most már késő,
most látom, milyen óriás ő –
szürke haja lebben az égen,
kékítőt old az ég vizében. 

Source of the quotation

Mama (English)

I've thought one week of Mama only.
Upon her hips she bore, ungainly,
a clothes-basket; she'd climb the stairway
up to the drying-attic's airway.

Then, for I was an honest fellow,
how I would shriek and stamp and bellow!
That swollen laundry needs no mother.
Take me, and leave it to another.

But still she drudged so quietly,
nor scolded me nor looked upon me,
and the hung clothes would glow and billow
high up above, with swoop and wallow.

It's too late now to still my bother;
what a giant was my mother -
over the sky her grey hair flutters,
her bluing tints the heaven's waters.