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Italian Actors Recite Touching Hungarian Poem from Home Quarantine – Video!

Fanni Kaszás 2020.04.08.

Zoltán Szilágyi, CEO of a security company, shared a lovely and heart-warming video message from Italy to Hungary on Facebook. He asked his Italian friends, who are members of an amateur theater group, to recite Sándor Reményik’s poem Egyszer talán majd mégis vége lesz (One day, it may end after all) – in Hungarian.

Reményik’s poem, written in 1918, is about the sufferings of World War I and the hopes after the war, but his lines are incredibly relevant even during today’s pandemic, especially in Italy, where the coronavirus has already claimed the lives of more than 17,000 people.

In the description of the video, Szilágyi says that his friends – and the owners of one of his company’s Italian suppliers – Cristiano Cardin, and his wife, are members of the Castello Errante amateur acting group. They had to close their company temporarily, their spring performances delayed, and they spend their days at home in quarantine. But “the company did not lose hope and its love for life and art, so when I asked them to recite the beautiful and relevant poem of Sándor Reményik in Hungarian, they immediately said yes.”

The entrepreneur made a raw Italian translation of the poem himself, to make things easier for the actors and he read the poem to them to help with Hungarian pronunciation as well. Members of the amateur group, which operates in Conegliano, a city in the Veneto region, recited the lines of the poem in Hungarian in front of a camera in their own homes, while the recordings were edited by Szilágyi’s brother.

Sándor Reményik: One day, after all, it will end, it might (Egyszer talán majd mégis vége lesz)

One day, after all, it will end, it might
And then, whoever can return,
Comes back to their old life.

The old faith, the old house –
The brush, pen, and the hoe,
Without calling to account or cursing out.

A clerk might have a new map to write,
But otherwise everything stays the same,
Except for the sight of fresh graves awhile.

But we calm down, our hearts ask nothing,
The ground will somehow continue to get about
And slow forces wash away the blood.

Egyszer talán majd mégis vége lesz
És akkor, aki visszatérni bír,
Csak visszatér megint a régihez.

A régi hithez, a régi házhoz –
Ecsethez, tollhoz, kapanyélhez,
És számon mit se kér, kit se átkoz.

A mappás talán új térképet ír,
De másként minden régiben marad,
Csak egy darabig sok lesz a friss sír.

Mi megnyugszunk, a szívünk mit se kérd,
A föld valahogy döcög majd tovább,
És lassú erők lemossák a vért.

This translation of the poem is by UK-based writer-translator, Luca Tréfás, who has already translated her most beloved Hungarian poems into English. She also has a joint project with Fred Novák musician, in which the pair translates some of the most popular Hungarian tracks into English and reproduce them in their own style.

featured photo: screenshot from the video