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Object Found / Guzstáv Báger

Object Found

By: Guzstáv Báger

€12.00 €6.00
Hungarian Gusztáv Báger is a rare combination of poet and economist. As an economist he is-among others-an adviser to the Hungarian government, and its ministers. As a poet he is widely known and well appreciated in Hungary, while his international reputation is steadily growing with poetry books in German, in French and now in English. Although Báger is no tourist he is a frequent visitor in the capitals of the European ...
ISBN 978-1-903392-78-2
Pub Date Saturday, March 01, 2008
Cover Image Picasso's
Page Count 96
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Hungarian Gusztáv Báger is a rare combination of poet and economist. As an economist he is-among others-an adviser to the Hungarian government, and its ministers. As a poet he is widely known and well appreciated in Hungary, while his international reputation is steadily growing with poetry books in German, in French and now in English. Although Báger is no tourist he is a frequent visitor in the capitals of the European Union, as a participant at finance meetings, or as a poet reading/reciting his unique poems. Báger, in his striking and highly effective poems unites realism and surrealism with concern and pity for human beings. In 2007 a book of essays on Báger's poetry was published by Zsolt Kántor. In 2007 Báger received the Hungarian Order of Merit award.

Dr. Thomas Kabdebo, the translator, is the author or translator of forty books, and the recipient of the Grand Prix of Translators (1997).

Guzstáv Báger


Chianti-Mountain
(Chianti-hegy)

Twice God tore up his handkerchief
at this very spot, that's why
two ends of his torn kerchief
opened up a spring to the sky.

Braided wires line by line
the silent wonder of this land
the stocks of rose bushes and vine
the hills all undulate and bend.

No doubt, friend, you were right
God and Earth lifting the arc
this is a super bower-altar
shining bright the very same light.
Review by Paul Perry, The Irish Times, Saturday 22nd November 2008

Hungarian Gusztáv Báger is a poet and economist. He has published several collections in his native Hungarian and has been translated into French and German. Object Found, translated by Thomas Kabdebó, is the first selection of Báger's work to appear in English.

A curious unattributed introduction tells us that "his poems could easily be compared to a bunch of flowers, or a single significant flower." And later that "we learn the poet's likes and dislikes in the material and biological world sooner than his life events or rages over the world's spiritual shortcomings. This is itself refreshing, like gulp of clear water."

The poems themselves have a delightfully surrealistic lightness to them. "Timespace is C-major" and "The Ballad of Vanishing Doors" are examples of an idiosyncratic and playful sensibility. "Ferrying" echoes Paul Celan, "we are worse than us, ourselves."

There's humour too in "The Metamorphosis of the Knife,

I was rotten at geometry
Which cut me to the quick
after fifty:
I was killed by the ruler.

Paul Perry is currently writer in residence for Dún Laoghaire Rathdown public library service. His most recent collection of poetry is The Orchid Keeper.

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