Lajos Parti Nagy was born in 1953 in Szekeszárd. He studied Hungarian history at the School of Pedagogy in Pécs, where he later worked as a librarian. After a career as an editor in a publishing house Jelenkor he became a free-lance writer in 1986. He has been writing poetry since his childhood, later he also wrote two dramas, Ibusár (1993) and Mauzoleum (1996), which were awarded the Hungarian Theatre Critics Prize for the best play of the year. His major poetry collections include Angels Hitch-hiking (1982), Physical Training (1986), Evening Wings (1995). “I take words, put them together, stick and glue them to each other, and thats it. The rest should remain secret. Let the poem alone speak for itself and for its author.” Lajos Parti Nagy lives in Budapest.
Afternoon Music, With Sugar And a Dash of Rain
You will have some coffee, won‘t you Mr. Mozart,
on such a sluggish Sunday afternoon?
And if you would, just for a moment, stop playing,
we should hear the rain falling,
and even if not.
That music of yours is most beautiful, do you
take sugar? It’s strong
all right, the cats from the roof are dropiing
like flies, I tell you, I’m sure
it stirs you up… look gentlemen
are alighting a hackney-cab, maybe wanting coffee
as well, but stir it gently,
it would otherwise tinkle,
I for myself dilute it with milk, just like
that sluggish Sunday silver spoon
tinkling with its trickling piano music
against the background crystal,
so sugar, I take it, slowly dissolving,
the scratching of the record finally
gathers on the bottom,
lees on a tiny ground
I see you’ve already forgotten
my troubling you with coffee.