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József Attila: Mother (Mama in English)

Portre of József Attila

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

Mother (English)

For a week now, again and again,
Thoughts of my mother have racked my brain.
Gripping a basket of washing fast,
On, and up to the attic she passed.

And I was frank and released my feeling
In stamps and yells to bring down the ceiling.
Let someone else have the bulging jackets,
Let her take me with her up to the attic.

She just, giving me no look or thrashing,
Went on, and in silence spread out the washing,
And the kneaded clothes, rustling brightly,
Were twisting and billowing up lightly.

I should not have cried but it's too late for this.
Now I can see what a giant she is.
Across the sky her grey hair flickers through;
In the sky's waters she is dissolving blue.