August 14, 2010


Statue of the "Tired Man" (Megfáradt ember in hungarian), referring to the poem of Attila József.
The statue is the work of József Somogy

In Mexico you can say "Tengo hueva" and that's it, people understand: "I feel lazy". But in Germany, the expression "hueva" does not exist. I translated it once (Faulheit), and the friend who had invited felt terribly hurt, since I did not meet her due to my hueva. What I really could not understand at all.

Tiredness is definitely not the same as hueva. But Germans never ever use the word f-word. Instead, they say that they are tired (even if they feel lazy).

Today I realized that the word I have used the most for the last year is "tired". I am always tired, even if I just woke up. "How are you?": "Tired" is the most often answer. It is not just a delicious huevita but a real tiredness.

So, I was considering if there is any novel about it, but I know none. At least I discovered this poem by Hungarian Attila József:

A Tired Man

Some solemn peasants in the fields
face home and silently depart.
We’ve laid us down, the stream and I.
Soft grasses slumber near my heart.

The hushed stream rolls us to our rest.
Within, dews rinse me free of care.
Not youth, Magyar, brother nor child,
he’s just a tired man, lolling there.

The falling night distributes peace
and I’m a warm slice of its bread.
The sky winds down. The stars sit out
on Maros and on my bare head.


david-. said...

No exactamente, claro, pero ¿Saul Bellow, Dean's December, quizá?

Anonymous said...

alguna vez escuché una buena tradución, quizá muy de dialecto, espero volverla a escuchar.s.