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Thursday, May 20, 2010


(Hungarian State Folk Ensemble)

I like this poem very much for its answer to that all-important philosophical question about the meaning of life. I’m sure my opinion has nothing to do with the fact that my father, Gyula (Jules) Horváth, is Hungarian and this is the first poem in English I have found that mentions Hungarians.


I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.

~ Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), American poet and writer and biographer of Lincoln

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