stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 20437
    [post_author] => 23
    [post_date] => 2019-10-10 13:10:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-10-10 13:10:40
    [post_content] => what I want to say is that       
I met a boy called
Bence in a bar on kertész street. in the bar you weren't
able to see a square inch of unpainted wall and I sat there trying to decipher the different flavours on the menu:
                                                                        körte
                                    cseresznye
                                                                                    szőlő

and something that might’ve been quince though I’ve never seen a quince in my life -

what I want to say is that I went to
dohány street the next day to meet carl lutz and raoul wallenberg
and how when they spoke I wish I knew the words for plum tree 
and paprika sausage and tulip bulb. how I wanted to ask how heavy 
a woman must be when you fish her out of the river, and how long she would have to be in there for her fingers to turn pruny - 

though I could not say any of that,
the only thing I knew how to say was göndör haj -

because curly was easier to pronounce than straight so 
I sat underneath the tree whispering curly hair. wishing to know 
the right word so I could place it underneath a stone, so I could hide it 
and save it as if the right word was worth saving - 

when miklós radnóti wrote home the sky must have been yellow.
and the cornfields too, great sundews encroaching the october sun, hitting 
those whorls like freshly ironed collars; maybe he thought of his wife. 
of buttoning up in the morning and sitting in
the károlyi gardens singing incy wincy spider. of drinking bull’s blood
in the evening, of sanguine peckered kisses, of pest singing too, of the street 
in its endless fumbling love affair with the horizon, of there being
one version of cowardice, of it meaning not waiting to two-step
until the streetlights turned off. you see when verses were not epitaphs
and fingernails not green from copper and love letters not washed away by piss in the snow and no men screaming splints lined up column after column
as the harvest reaping sent them curdling in the fields stacks of burlap and brandy for winter to claim until down comes the rain and washes the corporal out -

Bence drives skydiving planes.
he tells me the phrase for one more please
so I can order at the bar and then translates:
                                                                        pear
                                    cherry
                                                                                    grape.

I teach him how to pronounce the word psychology
and we read postcards next to the danube until dawn comes up. we read
miklós’ letters to his wife and I ask him if there are enough stones for all
this grief. no, but he teaches me the word for straight hair, egyenes haj, 
and we sit there, practising it until the tide comes in. 
    [post_title] => mégy egyet kérnék szépen (one more please)
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
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    [post_name] => megy-egyet-kernek-szepen-one-more-please
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2019-10-29 11:27:37
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-10-29 11:27:37
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=20437
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => poems
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [meta_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2019
            [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem is the first-prize winner in the Timothy Corsellis Prize 2019 on Young Poets Network (YPN), judged by Fran Brearton, MRIA, Professor of Modern Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, and a recognised authority on 20th century war poetry; Karen Leeder, FRSA, poet and professor of Modern German Literature at New College, Oxford; Susie Thornberry, Assistant Director of the Imperial War Museum in London; and Judith Palmer, Director of The Poetry Society. The Timothy Corsellis Prize is an annual poetry prize calling for poems in response to a selection of poets of the Second World War, including Keith Douglas, Sidney Keyes, Alun Lewis, John Jarmain, Henry Reed, Anna Akhmatova, Gertrud Kolmar, Günter Eich, Miklós Radnóti and Timothy Corsellis.

Chloe Elliott, the poet, said about writing this poem, "Despite Hungarian Jews being protected from deportation in the early years of the war, by 1944 Germany had occupied Hungary and established devastating anti-Jewish laws. The Nazis established the Jewish Ghetto in November 1944, following Operation Margarethe. More than half of those forced into the ghetto were deported to camps such as Auschwitz and it is estimated that by the end of the war more than 605,000 Hungarian Jews died. One of the places I visited was the Dohány Street Synagogue, where the Hungarian Jewish Museum is also based. In the rear courtyard is the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park where there is a weeping willow that bears inscriptions of the names of the victims. It is because of diplomats such as Raoul Wallenberg and Carl Lutz that  thousands of Hungarian Jews were saved from deportation, through issuing protective passes and standing up to Nazi authorities. There is a famous case where Lutz jumped in the Danube River in order to save a woman who had been shot. Whilst in Budapest I also came across the Hungarian poet Miklós Radnoti, and was exceptionally moved by his letters to his wife and “Postcards” written on his final death march. Despite his ability to express the horrors of the camps, I was struck by his earlier work and was inspired by the lightness of his writing - how it brimmed with nature, life and colour and spoke of repealing and healing. Though the terror of the Nazi occupation still bears a mark on Hungary today, what is also true is the strength of characters such as Wallenburg, Lutz and Radnoti, paving the way for future generations to recognise and reflect on the past."

Fran Brearton, one of the judges, said, "This was a clear favourite: it has thoughtfulness, a touch of humour, an inventiveness with language and form that enhances its struggle with what one ‘want[s] to say’. It approaches the subject aslant, but is never unfathomably cryptic, and the ebb and flow of the lines, like the tide they wait for, has a consistent musicality. The unknown words dotted on the menu – fruits, flavours – are powerfully picked up by the ‘pruny’ fingers; the incy wincy spider playfulness juxtaposes powerfully with the ‘men screaming’ by the close of a wonderfully handled syntax. I was reminded somewhat of a very different war poem (‘The Unspoken’ by Edwin Morgan) in the tone of this too – its striving towards what cannot be said; but its felt necessity to keep trying."
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => 1st prize, Timothy Corsellis Prize 2019
            [wpcf_pr_belongs] => 
        )

    [poet_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [ID] => 20439
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Chloe Elliott
            [slug] => chloe-elliott
            [content] => Chloe is the first-prize winner of the Timothy Corsellis Prize 2019.
        )

)
stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 20439
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Chloe Elliott
    [slug] => chloe-elliott
    [content] => Chloe is the first-prize winner of the Timothy Corsellis Prize 2019.
)

mégy egyet kérnék szépen (one more please)

Chloe Elliott

what I want to say is that       
I met a boy called
Bence in a bar on kertész street. in the bar you weren’t
able to see a square inch of unpainted wall and I sat there trying to decipher the different flavours on the menu:
                                                                        körte
                                    cseresznye
                                                                                    szőlő

and something that might’ve been quince though I’ve never seen a quince in my life –

what I want to say is that I went to
dohány street the next day to meet carl lutz and raoul wallenberg
and how when they spoke I wish I knew the words for plum tree 
and paprika sausage and tulip bulb. how I wanted to ask how heavy 
a woman must be when you fish her out of the river, and how long she would have to be in there for her fingers to turn pruny – 

though I could not say any of that,
the only thing I knew how to say was göndör haj –

because curly was easier to pronounce than straight so 
I sat underneath the tree whispering curly hair. wishing to know 
the right word so I could place it underneath a stone, so I could hide it 
and save it as if the right word was worth saving – 

when miklós radnóti wrote home the sky must have been yellow.
and the cornfields too, great sundews encroaching the october sun, hitting 
those whorls like freshly ironed collars; maybe he thought of his wife. 
of buttoning up in the morning and sitting in
the károlyi gardens singing incy wincy spider. of drinking bull’s blood
in the evening, of sanguine peckered kisses, of pest singing too, of the street 
in its endless fumbling love affair with the horizon, of there being
one version of cowardice, of it meaning not waiting to two-step
until the streetlights turned off. you see when verses were not epitaphs
and fingernails not green from copper and love letters not washed away by piss in the snow and no men screaming splints lined up column after column
as the harvest reaping sent them curdling in the fields stacks of burlap and brandy for winter to claim until down comes the rain and washes the corporal out –

Bence drives skydiving planes.
he tells me the phrase for one more please
so I can order at the bar and then translates:
                                                                        pear
                                    cherry
                                                                                    grape.

I teach him how to pronounce the word psychology
and we read postcards next to the danube until dawn comes up. we read
miklós’ letters to his wife and I ask him if there are enough stones for all
this grief. no, but he teaches me the word for straight hair, egyenes haj, 
and we sit there, practising it until the tide comes in.