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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Saturday Rave: Struggle For Life by Frigyes Karinthy

Rippl Frigyes Karinthy.jpg
Portrait by József Rippi-Rónai

Frigyes Karinthy (or Karinthy Frigyes, in his native Hungary) was a poet, author, playwright, translator and journalist. He wrote - well, obviously he wrote all sorts of things, amongst them two sequels to Gulliver's Travels.

Here's a poem that's actually rather the opposite of Gulliver's Travels, in that it seems to me not nearly as grim as it appears to begin with.

Struggle For Life

Brother, it seems, you have been beaten
As Law decrees and Precept goes - 
Your corpse is sniffed round by hyenas
And circled by the hungry crows.

It's not the pack who were the stronger,
Smaller beasts beat you to tatters -
And who fights now over your carcass
Jackdaw? Jackal? Hardly matters.

Your fist when it was time to use it
Always stopped halfway in the air - 
Was it charity? Weakness? May be
Fear? Pride? Modesty? I don't care.

Or mere disgust, perhaps. So be it
Good. Amen. I accept the terms
I prefer that worms should eat me
Rather than I should eat on worms.

Word To Use Today: hyena. This word comes from the Greek huaina, from hus, which means hog...

...a derivation that goes rather interestingly with this poem.

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