Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

Inner World (a sonnet wreath)

László Sárközi

László Sárközi was born in Hungary in 1969, and honed his formal poetry skills in a mentorship with the late great Hungarian writer, György Faludi (My Happy Days in Hell). The sequence of poems presented here form a "sonnet wreath" of 15 sonnets, as follows. The first line of each sonnet begins with the last line of the previous sonnet. So the

first 14 sonnets (a sonnet has 14 lines, following a traditional rhyme scheme in the original as well) are woven together like a funeral wreath. The final sonnet is a "master sonnet", comprising all these 14 first lines, in order. This form gains especial power by the subject matter here. The poet feels the bitter pull of a dual Hungarian / Roma identity – almost a pulling apart – and the classical discipline applied to it, paradoxically, unleashes this beautiful, albeit hard, exposition – just enough to share with us the record of it.

Translated from Hungarian by Andrew Singer.


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