The pure verbal energy characterizing Hungarian poetry may be regarded as one of the most striking components of Hungarian culture. More than 800 years ago, under the inspiration of classical and medieval Latin poetry, Hungarian poets began to craft a rich chain of poetic designs, much of it in response to the country's cataclysmic history. With precision, depth, and great intensity, these verses give accounts of their authors' vision of themselves as participants in history and their most personal experience in the world. Light within the Shade includes 135 of the most important Hungarian poems ranging from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century. Organized in chronological order, the poems are followed by an essay by Ozsvth providing the historical, biographical, and cultural background of the poets and the poetry. The book concludes with Turner's essay on the special thematic and literary qualities of Hungarian poetry, as well as notes on translation practices. This essential volume exposes English-speaking readers to Hungarian poetry's artistic achievement in history and culture, its evolutionary development as a tradition, and its significance within the context of world literature.
Zsuzsanna Ozsvth holds the Leah and Paul Lewis Chair of Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, USA, where she is also director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies. Frederick Turner is Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas, USA.