Friday, July 26, 2013

Creation

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8Y-JH26v2zo/UNiyU_8_4xI/AAAAAAAAAhI/3oB1A4yC60s/s1600/kagitgemi.jpg

About 21 years ago, my Greek Orthodox friend turned me on to a CD of Hungarian pop music by the group Muzsikás, and its amazing heart, the Hungarian singer Márta Sebestyén.

Of particular note on that CD was the song Teremtés, which means "Creation" in Hungarian.

Off and on over the years I kept trying to find an English translation to the lyrics, until just about a year ago I found someone online who helped -- who happened also to be someone high up in the Hungarian consulate of my American city.  She was kind enough to take time out to translate the lyrics, which I further massaged around the edges.

These lyrics are quite remarkable, when one considers they were written by a devout Christian (Orthodox, I believe) such as Márta Sebestyén, adapting them from a traditional Hungarian folk song.  The lyrics toy with the idea that man creates god, and that man creates his own world -- which, yet, is precariously vulnerable, a paper ship amid overwhelming waters which, too, are his own doing, "his own deluge" which his pitiable paper ship is meant to survive, though ultimately doomed.  This playful insouciance with such a grave subject matter reminds one of Plato's counsel about mythopoesis in the hands of the lover of wisdom as "serious play".  The startling import of the song's limpid lines suggest that the frailty of man extends even to the saving story upon which he depends, or which he may deign to ignore or scorn.

Here now are the lyrics, first in Hungarian, followed by their English translation.  The fiercely lovely song, a pacific song about the flood that is the everpresent undercurrent of this world, may be heard here.

Az ember agyagból gyúrjon Istent,
Aki teremtsen néki világot,
Hol hajthat magának papírhajót,
Amin önnön özönvizét megússza.


Keressen folyton partokat,
Hogy folyvást száradozzon.
Keressen folyton partokat,
Míg el nem mossa egy végsõ áradat.


Keressen folyton partokat,
Hogy folyvást száradozzon.
Keressen folyton partokat,
Míg el nem mossa egy végsõ áradat.


Man needs to knead god from clay
To create a world for himself,
Where he can steer his folded paper ship
To survive his own deluge on it.

Looking out for shore always,
Trying to stay dry,
Always looking for shore,
Until a final floodwave washes over it.

Looking out for shore always,
Trying to stay dry,
Always looking for shore,
Until a final floodwave washes over it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Atheists miss the most lovely parts of life - namely angels and spirits of dearly departed who send inspired messages of love and hope from the great beyond....

Anonymous said...

Oh, from Egghead. :)