In memory of Anna Jókai

85 years old. Anna Jókai, Artist of the Nation, Kossuth Grand Prize and Kossuth Prize-winning writer, member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, and a highly acclaimed artist, passed away in her late teens.

“His writing career is unlike any other; his conception of life, called spiritual realism, the meeting of the divine and the human, has matured into a moral and literary programme,” reads the MMA’s website.

He also served as the President of our Foundation from 2001-2004, and his memory will be kept alive.

AnnaJókai: Prayer for Hungary

Old God, Great God
look how we live down here
locked in a boiler
waiting for a miracle
from bucket to bucket of Hungarians.
Here we live neither alive nor dead
hurray there’s fish in the bucket
we can bake a spiny little bun
the fresh flesh is already carrying the nimble weasel
in a circle in the bush
the eyes of predators flash
on the fallen herds
sacrificial branding.
(hush, be quiet, don’t shout,
mumble, mumble the prayer)

Old God, Great God
if not you, who will help?
Lean feast
nova wine was offered
and those who drank it
they have all become stupefied.
(…be quiet, don’t whine,
feel free to address our stunned country)
Old God, Great God
for you today everything yearns
who are snoring all over the place
or keep a vigilant watch
under a flat acid rain
trust are equally wet.
(…only quietly, all who rebel,
in sheepskin costume watching your house)

Old God, Great God
strengthen me in the faith
that what is delayed
it will not go away
Your flock is still alive
though his hair fall.
(…just quietly, no use making a racket,
orphans are even more orphaned with step-parents)

Old God, Great God
there is no other hope
as your just grace
that You may finally put things in order
for the rest of the country
give me a lively mood
the truncated rest
heal it don’t let it
become a self-killer
you have to find your way home!
(…quietly, because I’m under indictment,
Janissaries come, put me under the wheel)

Old God, Great God
not brought, but carried
on the blind horse they lied brave
under suba the shepherd has become a cupcake
lullaby of a nylon turkey
wading us into a lukewarm puddle.
(quietly, don’t enjoy the dance,
rattle on, rattle on, rattle on the wadded chain)
Happy in pain our good old Patron
our mountains are stolen, our land for sale
we drown in the smoke of our river cyanide
our souls are oppressed by the lack of God
intellectuals without measure!
executioner cynically makes peace with the dead
rich rooms with fake peasants
they burn the wheat not the tares
work leader whines, incites
working man running locally here
the homeless man was beaten by a policeman
shoppingcenters across the country
dirty money has no smell
robbed of weed and became weed itself
and the artist? you ask mournfully
they bought the talent
weep for them Ancient Mother
mercenary money doesn’t smell.
(…just quietly, let Christ judge,
infinite time to convert everyone)

Old God, Great God
who to follow and who not to follow?
Mature in the idea but remove the obsession
Hysteria, hysteria, hysteria, hysteria, hysteria
to do the lessons that are set for us
let us not be arrogant nor despair
Nazi-consciousness, Bolshevik-consciousness
just a mask for the Beast
they are tormented anyway
they look at each other
evil century gone
difficult years ahead
warm our minds, and make our hearts wise,
encourage me that the brotherly war can end
wrap this globe in the robe of your Son
our sweet country in the midst of it
let real peace replace flatness and bargaining.
Through so many ignominious ages
keep for us your mystical crown.
(…only quietly, those with ears to hear,
visible to the seer, the bottom of the sky is cleft)

Old God, Great God
what we want and what we don’t want:
let your law guide
so that this small nation does not perish
don’t lose your place on the map
not to be erased from the worldly life forever
stir up thy servant the God of the Hungarians
close her eyes, clouded with tears
send it down from on high again to this bloody bloody land
keep his spirit among us now and for ever.
(The Advent was too long before the Nativity
– because our lives are pretty much spent on it –
before it’s too late, you say the Amen.)

Major awards and recognitions:

1970 – Attila József Prize

1974 – SZOT Prize

1980 – Pietržak Prize of the Polish publisher PAX

1985 – Gold Medal of the Order of Labour

1992 – Kossuth Prize

1992 – Central Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary

1998 – Hungarian Heritage Award

1999 – CET (Central European Time) award

1999 – Book of the Year Award

1999 – Tiszatáj Prize (Szeged)

1999 – the VII. honorary citizen of the district

2000 – Hungarian Prize for Art

2001 – “Loyalty to the Homeland” Medal of Merit, Political Prisoners’ Association (PEK)

2002 – Medal of the President of the Republic

2003 – János Arany Grand Prix

2004 – Kölcsey Memorial Prize (Satu Mare)

2004 – Prima Primissima Audience Award

2005 – Knight of Hungarian Culture

2006 – Stephanus Prize

2006 – Honorary citizen of Kispest

2007 – Prince Árpád Prize

2009 – Award of the Győr Book Salon (Győr-Moson-Sopron county)

2011 – “For the Homeland ’56”, National Association of Political Prisoners

2012 – Árpád Shield

2012 – Honorary Citizen of Józsefváros

2012 – Honorary Citizen of Budapest

2012 – Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit – civilian category

2013 – Human Dignity Medal (Human Dignity Council Award)

2014 – Kossuth Grand Prize

2014 – the National Artist of the Nation Award