P E T E R  H A R G I T A I
About MY POEMpire
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B-irodalmam/My POEMpire
(50 valogatof vers/50 selected poems Paperback  – 1997
by Ferenc Mózsi (Author),    Peter Hargitai (Translator)

This dual translation from Hungarian into English as well as Spanish invites audiences of
both English and Spanish speakers to relish the poetry of Ferenc Mózsi. Actually, what we
have here in Spanish is a translation of a translation. Alfredo Leiseca has rendered the
clever English translation by Peter Hargitai into Spanish, striving to preserve the wit and
linguistic versatility captured so aptly from the original by Professor Hargitai.

FORWARD by Jonathan Rose
What I have done in editing these translations (more so with the Spanish translation) has
been to try to preserve wit wit(h) several modest additions of my own, maintaining intact
the greater portion of Alfredo Leiseca's rendering. I have endeavored to maintain similar
line breaks wherever possible. Similarly, I have attempted to conserve the line spacing and
page endings so that an English speaker with little or no knowledge of Spanish, or a Spanish
speaker with little or no knowledge of English, will be able to discern meaning more
readily. I do this because attempts of intuition of an unknown language have always
interested me.

Ferenc Mózsi's words form more than simply a rant, although his ardent criticism of world
conditions is evident throughout. Mózsi exhibits a wry, sardonic humor by means of his
clever parenthetical in(as)sertions, foreshadowing his usage of this technique with his title,
which has been t(r)endered for your approval.

I enjoyed particularly (noting that readers may have different tastes and enjoy other poems
as well, and not to the exclusion of other poems) NOT TODAY, MELODIA DELLE
ado, these fifty poems are served for your enjoyment. Dig in.

About the Author
Ferenc Mózsi, the author of fourteen volumes of poetry, passed away in 2007. Born in
Budapest, he escaped the Communist regime in Hungary in 1970 in a daring escape, the last
stretch of which included a marathon swim to Italy. For a time the poet lived in Belgium,
pursuing studies in philology at the Catholic University of Louvain. In 1974 he moved to the
United States where he became founder and editor of the Hungarian literary, artistic and
critical review Szivárvány. At the 1984 World Congress of Poetry in Marrakech, Morocco,
he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Poetry. He and his
family lived in Chicago.

behind the fences of Fancy
on a lyrical leash
I guard my
w o r d s
in letter caves
in my POEMpire
where I hoard my booty
slave of my verses
armless prisoners of my desire

where beasts of imagery
gnaw at
my slippery theme

and where I groan
under the lash of centuries
of writ(h)ing

I would like to thank my
translators, Professor Peter
Hargitai who supplied the
English from my original
Hungarian poems, and Mr.
Alfredo Leiseca who
translated the English poems
into Spanish for this bilingual
edition of My POEMpire. And
I am grateful as well to Mr.
Jonathan Rose for his kind
Foreword and for his timely
and invaluable editing of both
the English and Spanish
poems, to Dianne Kress
Hargitai for typing the
manuscript of My POEMpire /
MI UNI-verso, and to
Alejandro Díaz for his
excellent cover design.

Ferenc Mózsi