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Gyorgy Faludy: Refugees in Paris, 1939

(Párizs, 1939)

Our tight budget afforded only cornmeal.

We cooked up a two-kilo batch in a big pot

on a hotel hotplate. It bubbled. When done,

we poured it out on a round table, hot.


The City lit up our nights, shaken by trucks below.

We helped ourselves three times daily to little cuts.

We tried adding milk when we had it, but to no avail.

The corn cake kept on punching us in the guts.


But we were floating above our flesh, didn’t bitch,

lucky to be paupers in Paris and free. Then one night

a patron of the arts took us out to dinner. He was rich,


and so was the meal, oysters and wine. He fetched

us back to our room by car. On the hotel sidewalk,

we corn cake connoisseurs, helplessly retched.


(Budapest, 1994)


From Silver Pirouettes: Selected PoemsCopyright 2017 Gyorgy Faludy (author) and  Paul Sohar (translator). Published by Ragged Sky, Princeton, NJ. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


“Summer before the War” (Life magazine)

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This entry was posted on September 7, 2017 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , .

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