Showing posts with label Literary works. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Literary works. Show all posts

Endre Ady

Endre Ady was born on November 22, 1877, in Érdmindszent, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Ady Endre, Romania). On January 27, 1919, in Budapest, Hungary, he died. 

Principal poetry

1899, Versek. 

1903. Még egyszer Versek, J., 1906 (New Verses, 1969). 

1908, Vér és Arany (Blood and Gold, 1969). 

On Elijah's Chariot, 1909 (Az Illés szekerén, 1969). 

1910, a minden titkok verseib1l (Of All Mysteries, 1969). 

Szeretném,  1910 (Longing for Love, 1969). 

1912, a menekül1 élet (This Fugitive Life, 1969). 

1913, a magunk szerelme (Love of Ourselves, 1969). 

Ki látott engem? (Who Sees Me?, 1969) was written in 1914. 

1918, a halottak élén (Leading the Dead, 1969). 

1921, Margita élni akar. 

1923, Az utolsó hajók (The Last Ships, 1969). 

1923, Rövid dalok egyr1l és másról. 

New Verses, Blood and Gold, On Elijah's Chariot, Longing for Love, Of All Mysteries, This Fugitive Life, Love of Ourselves, Who Sees Me?, Leading the Dead, and The Last Ships are included in Endre Ady's Poems, published in 1969. 

Additional literary forms.

Endre Ady (O-dee) was a journalist who contributed to the press with many articles, reports, reviews, critiques, essays, and short tales. 

After his death, they were gathered as Az j Hellász (1920; new Hellas), Levelek Párizsból (1924; letters from Paris), Párizsi noteszkönyve (1924; Paris notebook), and Ha hv az aczélhegy ördög (1927; if the steel-tipped devil calls). 

Vallomások és tanlmányok (1911; confessions and studies), a collection of Ady's major prose works, both political and literary, was published during his lifetime. 

The Explosive Country: A Selection of Articles and Studies, 1898-1916 contains English translations of some of these works (1977). 

His short story collections blend subjective, personal confession with a picture of Hungary in the early twentieth century. 

Sápadt emberek és történetek (1907; pale men and tales), gy is történhetik (1910; it may also happen), A tzmilliós Kleopátra és egyébb történetek (1910; Cleopatra of the ten millions and other stories), j csapáson (1913; on a new track), and Muskét Ady Endre válogatott levelei (1956; chosen letters of Endre Ady), with a preface by Béla György, was published alongside his letters. 


Endre Ady is a famous lyric poet from Hungary. 

He developed a new poetic style, influenced by Western European models, especially French, that both startled and inspired his contemporaries. 

Simultaneously, he revived indigenous Hungarian literary traditions, turning to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries rather than his immediate predecessors for inspiration. 

Physical desire and sexual love, as well as political and social change, were revolutionary subjects for him. 

He did, however, follow in the footsteps of the great nineteenth-century Hungarian poets who used their works to convey the nation's spirit. 


Endre Ady's ancestors and birthplace had a significant impact on his poems. 

His mother's side of the family had a history of Calvinist preachers, thus his ancestors were from the comparatively impoverished aristocracy, or gentry. 

He became closely acquainted with the peasants in the tiny hamlet of Érdmindszent, since his own family's existence was quite similar to theirs. 

His father wanted him to join the civil service, therefore he was schooled with a law degree in mind. 

Ady grew up in the Partium, a region in eastern Hungary with tumultuous connections to Transylvania throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when that principality served as a bastion of Hungarian autonomy and traditions while the rest of the nation was ruled by Turkish or Habsburg forces. 

Ady found justification for his rebellious, individualistic character in both Calvinist and kuruc (anti-Habsburg) traditions in the Partium. 

He was always proud of his Hungarian heritage and saw himself as far more Magyar than many of his colleagues who came from more mixed ethnic backgrounds. 

Ady was sent to the Piarist school in Nagykároly after finishing five basic grades in his hometown, and then to the Calvinist gymnasium at Zilah, which he considered as his alma mater; he always recalled his professors warmly. 

Several of his classmates went on to become famous among the early twentieth century's most radical intellectuals and politicians. 

He also devoured literature from the past, both Hungarian and European naturalistic authors, and got familiar with Arthur Schopenhauer's writings. 

After a short stint at Debrecen's law school and stints as a legal clerk in Temesvár (Timisoara, Romania) and Zilah (Za la u), he discovered that journalism was his actual calling. 

He continued in this line of work till his death. 

Ady started his career at Debrecen, and during this time, not only did his horizons broaden, but his critical theses solidified as well. 

Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henrik Ibsen, Fyodor Dostoevski, and particularly the late eighteenth-century poet Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, a native of Debrecen, were significant bywords for him, and he continued his readings. 

Ady got acquainted with the life of a big city and the more international society it represented in Nagyvárad (now Oradea, Romania). 

For a while, he wrote for liberal publications, and his political beliefs aligned with the pro-government attitude of such publications. 

However, over time, he grew disillusioned by their unwillingness to push for universal suffrage and other changes that would benefit the poor and national minorities. 

He got familiar with Huszadik század, a progressive magazine founded in 1900, during this time. 

Ady met Adél Brüll, whom he would immortalize as the Leda of his poetry, during his years at Nagyvárad, which were also significant in his personal life and literary growth. 

This older, married lady (her married name was Diósi) had a significant impact in his life since she was more experienced, worldly, and sophisticated than he was. 

Their passionate and at times stormy love affair, which ended in 1912, is chronicled in poems that would change Hungarian love poetry forever. 

When Ady traveled to Paris as the foreign reporter for his newspaper, Brüll was there, and she guided him through his impressions of the French capital. 

When he returned from his journey in 1904, he sprang onto the scene with a new lyrical style. 

Ady was working for the liberal Budapesti napló in Budapest by 1905. 

He advocated for drastic changes in many writings, and independence from Austria was also discussed. 

Ady shifted his focus to the social issues that were ruining the nation at this time, championing the downtrodden in both his poetry and prose works. 

In 1908, the influential magazine Nyugat was founded, and Ady quickly became linked with it—all the more so since his more radical ideas clashed with the Budapesti napló's middle-of-the-road liberalism. 

Ady opposed Hungarian involvement in the war when it broke out in 1914, further isolating him from official political activity. 

Humanism and patriotism motivated his antiwar poetry. 

Ady claimed that the impoverished and politically weak suffered the most, and that the war was being waged against Hungarian interests only for Austrian objectives. 

Ady spent much of this time at Érdmindszent and Csucsa, the estate of Berta Boncza, whom he had met in 1914 and married the next year. 

Berta, the daughter of a wealthy nobleman and a powerful politician, was much younger than Ady, and she had been drawn to him when she read his book Blood and Gold while still at school in Switzerland. 

The poems written for her have a different tone than the Leda poems: the love is more passionate and less sexual. 

They express the hope that Csinszka (as Berta is referred to in the poems written for her) would maintain the poet's ideas and aspirations. 

Ady was severely sick with syphilis at this point, which had been slowly killing him since his Nagyvárad days. 

In October of 1918, Hungary experienced the revolution that Ady had hoped for. 

Despite his misgivings about the socialist system, Ady traveled to Budapest, where he was feted by the revolutionary leadership. 

He also questioned that the Karolyi government's wooing of the Entente countries would yield any fruit. 

His suspicions were correct, and the Entente did nothing to help Hungary. 

Ady died in January 1919, oblivious to the fact that Hungary's area would be severely reduced and his birthplace and home region would be given to Romania. 


Endre Ady, like János Arany and others before him, emerged from the country's deep core and tried to elevate the nation to a new awareness. 

Because the literary and political establishments had failed to see the need for change, Ady became an innovator. 

Ady's "Hungarianness" is a major theme in his work, and he was acutely conscious of his fight "with Europe for Europe." Ady has never strayed from his roots. 

Instead, he drew inspiration from folklore, eighteenth-century kuruc poetry, Mihály Csokonai Vitéz's folk-song-inspired lyrics, and the revolutionary lyricism of Sándor Pet1fi, Hungary's great national poet. 

Ady also relied extensively on Hungarian Calvinism and the rich vernacular heritage of Protestant literature in order to develop a very personal contemporary style that was driven by the conflict between Hungarian and Western European influences. 

He integrated European ideas, preoccupations, and techniques into his famous love poems to Leda and Csinszka, as well as his poetry on materialism and national traditions, showing the influence of Friedrich Nietzsche and Henri Bergson, as well as Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine.

Ady is now regarded as one of the most influential members of the group of authors and philosophers that changed Hungary's intellectual life in the early twentieth century. 

New Verses

Ady's first two collections of poetry, Versek (poems) and Még egyszer (once again), drew little attention; they were minor collections in the conventional sense. 

However, in 1906, Ady's unique style appeared in New Verses. 

He included new topics and ideas, as well as new pictures and a fresh, new style, in this exhibition. 

New Verses emphasized brevity and impact, which continued in Ady's subsequent three collections: short, succinct lines; short poems filled with significance; condensed language with many layers of reference. 

A single metaphor is developed in several of the early poems. 

Ady prefaced New Verses with a statement that describes the conflict that runs through his whole oeuvre: Hungary is a country stuck at the crossroads between East and West. 

He wonders whether he might break in from the West with "new melodies of new times," while proudly claiming his lineage from the conquering Hungarians of the ninth century who arrived via the Eastern gate. 

In a defiant affirmative, he claims that these poems are "still triumphant, still fresh, and Hungarian" despite conservative resistance. 


Ady stopped in mid-career to adopt a calmer style and grayer moods after the explosion of intensity that defined his style from 1906 to 1909. 

His topics and concerns remained mostly unchanged, but there was a depth of thinking, and his poetry took on a more gloomy tone. 

As he saw policies that could only lead to disaster being mindlessly pursued by the political class, his worry for the country's destiny, especially for ordinary people, increased. 

His friendship with Brüll deteriorated as well. 

Ady's style experienced another change after 1914, during the war years. 

As his poem grew more contemplative, his sentences became more complicated, and he moved away from lighter, French-inspired tones and toward the solemn and majestic style of the Bible and sixteenth-century Calvinist poetry. 

Ady kept two themes from his earlier collection in this late poetry: patriotism, which grew into humanitarianism, and love—no longer the unfulfilled and unsatisfactory sexual experiences of previous years, but the deeper, more fulfilling passion of the Csinszka poems. 

Poems by Leda. 

Though there is much overlap, Ady's poems may be divided into four main categories (love, death, religion, and patriotism), there is also some important smaller topics that are ultimately absorbed into one or another of the larger ones, showing Ady's intellectual growth. 

Romantic love was one of Ady's most persistent motifs. 

Baudelaire's impact may be seen in the Leda cycles, which depict destructive but compelling love. 

The focus on the physical elements of love in these poetry was a departure from Hungarian tradition. 

Ady's poetry to his wife, on the other hand, are more in the Pet1fi tradition, with emotional-spiritual substance equal to physical material. 

However, dismissing the Leda poems as simply sexual would be misleading: Brüll provided Ady with much more than physical pleasure, and these poems represent an universe of shared ideas. 

They are more important and, in general, more effective than poetry about flimsy partnerships with minor partners. 

New Verses' "Félig csókolt csók" ("Half-Kissed Kiss") and Blood and Gold's "Léda a kertben" ("Leda in the Garden") both stress the strong yearning that cannot be fulfilled even via physical connection. 

The "half-kissed kiss" is a metaphor for an intimate connection that leaves the lovers yearning for more: "tomorrow, then maybe tomorrow." As an image from "Leda in the Garden" indicates, nature sympathizes with them in their everlasting hunger: "even the poppy/ pities us, [itself] satiated." Ady argues in "Héja nász az avaron" ("Kite-Wedding on the Loamy Earth") that only death may bring consummation. 

Ady returns to this subject in "A mi násznagyunk" ("Our Best Man"). 

In the Leda cycles, there are also delicate love poems, such as "Add nekem a szemeidet" ("Give Me Your Eyes"). 

Despite the fact that the beloved's eyes "always see him grand...always build, have mercy...see him in a better light," they "kill, burn, and want." The poem's four stanzas each include three lines, with the title line repeating as the first line of each stanza and two rhymed lines following it. 

Of All Mysteries 

An abb tercet in anapestic meter that reflects the lyrical tone and melody of the lyrics, as well as the vast concepts. 

The fading of Ady's passion for Brüll is chronicled in the 1910 book Of All Mysteries. 

As the poem's title suggests, this collection provides a virtual outline of Ady's signature themes: "youthful All defeated, with the spear of Secrecy, Death in my heart: yet my heart survives, and God lives." Ady seems to be resolved to hope despite setbacks. 

The poet develops a genuine trust in humanity, culminating in the humanism of the war poems, which sheds the poet's previous Decadent stance. 

Of All Mysteries is divided into six cycles, each of which is dedicated to a different “secret”: God, love, grief, glory, life, and death. 

The poem "A türelem bilincse" ("The Fetters of Patience") from the "Love" cycle, dedicated to Leda, makes a crucial reference to the "fetters" of their love in the past tense. 

Their whole lives were enslaved by fetters, yet the "kisses, exhaustions, fires, and vows" were all beneficial fetters. 

In “Elbocsátó, szép üzenet” (“Dismissing, Beautiful Message”), pity triumphs over regretful memory of love. 

Poems on love 

The poems from 1912 to 1914 depict a guy on the lookout for love. 

This love is discovered in the last volumes. 

Berta Boncza gave him "stability, summer, beauty, and serenity" at "A Kalota partján" ("On the Banks of the Kalota"). 

The poem's two lengthy free-verse stanzas describe a summer Sunday in which the poet is overcome by the serenity and pleasure of the service and the feast (Pentecost), and his beloved's gaze pull him into a magical circle. 


Ady viewed life and death as two aspects of the same energy, not as conflicting forces. 

“Párizsban járt az 1sz” (“Fall Passed Via Paris”) is a lovely depiction of the presence of death through the air of autumn on a summer day. 

Although death comes to everyone, Ady argues in the lyrical "A halál lovai" ("Death's Horsemen") that it does not have to be accepted passively. 

In the squadron of death's horses, the riderless horse with the unclaimed saddle is always there, but "He before whom they stop/ Turns pale and climbs into the saddle." The act is shown as self-initiated. 

A corpse, abandoned on the icy plain, will not have flowers, artemisia, or basil blossoming on its grave in “Hulla a bza-földön” (“Corpse on the Wheat-Field”), but “the triumphant wheat-kernel” will prevail; life will triumph. 

Poems on religion. 

Ady's God-fearing poetry maintain the life-death subject to some degree. 

They have the same uncertainties and are looking for the same solutions to the same problems. 

Ady eventually found answers and shelter, but the battle, like John Donne's, was arduous; fact, Ady's love poems, like Donne's, had a tight and direct connection to his religious poetry. 

Although many of Ady's religious poems are about his quest to attain oneness with God, others are about the serenity that comes from naive trust. 

Ady is looking for peace and forgiveness, and he uses strong symbols to express his emotions. 

In “A Sion-hegy alatt” (“Under Mount Sion”), he depicts God as a man wearing a massive bell coat with red lettering ringing for the morning Mass. 

The figure is sweet but sad; he is unable to respond to the poet's appeal for simple, unwavering trust. 

The poem is a moving depiction of humanity's current predicament. 

Ady longs for trust in the grand mystery of God in "Hiszek hitetlenül Istenben" ("I Believe, Unbelieving, in God"), certain that such faith would bring comfort to his tortured soul. 

The poems in the cycle "Esaias könyvének margójára" ("To the Margins of the Book of Isaiah"), which are often prefaced by biblical references that highlight their prophetic intents, transcend personal religious quests and become appeals for the country and mankind. 

“Volt egy Jézus” (“There Was a Jesus”) not only attests to a personal acceptance of Jesus Christ, but also to the necessity for all humanity to follow his peace and fraternity teachings. 

Another biblically inspired poem, “A szétszóródás elött” (“Before the Diaspora”), chastises the country for its crimes, ending with the devastating phrase, “And we were lost, because we lost ourselves.” 

Poems on patriotism.

Many of Ady's poetry are nationalistic in nature. 

This collection, on the other hand, brings together a number of distinct subjects that were important to him at various times during his career. 

The "I" poems and the "money" poems are two key early strands. 

The I poems are more than just personal songs; they portray the speaker (poet) as a national spokesperson. 

As a result, they follow a pretty straight path to becoming patriotic poetry. 

Ady moved beyond concerns about poverty to examine the function of money in society at large in the money poems, which surprised readers with their "nonpoetic" subject. 

The kuruc motif

The usage of the kuruc motif is a common thread in Ady's patriotic-revolutionary poetry. 

The followers of Ferenc Rákóczi II, who led a popular revolt against the Habsburgs in the eighteenth century, were known as Kuruc. 

The kuruc is the genuine but disenfranchised Hungarian in Ady's lexicon, a warrior for national objectives betrayed by his self-serving masters to Austrian interests. 

During the conflict, Ady associated the kuruc with the ordinary man worldwide, who was victimized by governmental power struggles.

"Man in Inhumanity" is a phrase used to describe a person who acts inhumanely. 

“Ember az embertelenségben” (“Man in Inhumanity”), Ady's last poem, was a plea to humanity addressed to the war's winners. 

He unsuccessfully pleaded with the Allies to "not tread too hard" on Hungarian hearts. 

The country wanted change, but instead got "War, the Horror." Hungary suffered for her all-too-recent union with Austria with the loss of most of its land and millions of its people after being defeated in a war waged against Hungarian emotions and interests. 

Even before the war, Ady foresaw this catastrophe and provided a profound remark on its consequences. 

Despite being a very subjective poet and one of the first completely personal lyric voices in Hungarian poetry, Ady did not deviate from the national tradition of devoted literature. 

He changed what he took by the force of his brilliance, using the rich resources of the Hungarian past in the service of a profoundly contemporary vision. 

He was deeply inspired by Western European models. 

Ady continues to inspire poets in Hungary today, which is not unexpected.

Other major works

short fiction: Sápadt emberek és történetek,1907; Így is történhetik, 1910; A tízmilliós Kleopátra és

egyébb történetek, 1910; Muskétás tanár úr, 1913; Újcsapáson, 1913.

nonfiction: Vallomások és tanúlmányok, 1911; Az új Hellász, 1920; Levelek Párizsból, 1924; Párizsi

noteszkönyve, 1924; Ha hív az aczélhegy± ördög, 1927; Ady Endre válogatott levelei, 1956; 

The Explosive Country: A Selection of Articles and Studies, 1898-1916, 1977.


Bóka, Lazlo. “Endre Ady the Poet.” New Hungarian Quarterly 3, no. 5 (January-March, 1962): 83-108.

A biographical and critical study of Ady’s life and work.

Cushing, G. F. Introduction to The Explosive Country: A Selection of Articles and Studies, 1898-1916, byEndre Ady. Budapest: Corvina Press, 1977. 

Cushing offers some biographical insight into Ady’s life.

Frigyesi, Judit. Béla Bartók and Turn-of-the-Century Budapest. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. A broad perspective on Bartók’s art grounded in the social and cultural life of turn-of-the-century Hungary. Includes a discussion of Ady and his influence on Bartók.

Hanák, Péter. The Garden and the Workshop: Essays on the Cultural History of Vienna and Budapest.

Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998.

Ady is one of the central figures in his collection of essays. Deals with Ady’s transition from journalism to poetry.

The Start of Endre Ady’s Literary Career (1903-1905). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1980. A brief study of Ady’s early work, with bibliography.

Land, Thomas. “Endre Ady: Six Poems.” Contemporary Review 279, no. 1627 (August, 2001): 100-105.

Land briefly describes Ady’s life, particularly his political activism, and translates six personal poems. 

Nyerges, Anton N. Introduction to Poems of Endre Ady. Buffalo, N.Y.: Hungarian Cultural Foundation, 1969. Nyerges gives some biographic details of Ady’s life.

Reményi, Joseph. Hungarian Writers and Literature. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1964. A history and critical analysis of Hungarian literature including the works of Ady.