March 2

Janos Arany

Janos Arany (born March 2, 1817) Hungarian poet, journalist

Excerpt from The Bards of Wales epic poem

Edward the king, the English king,
Bestrides his tawny steed,
“For I will see if Wales” said he,
“Accepts my rule indeed.”

“Are stream and mountain fair to see?
Are meadow grasses good?
Do corn-lands bear a crop more rare
Since wash’d with rebel’s blood?”

“And are the wretched people there,
Whose insolence I broke,
As happy as the oxen are
Beneath the driver’s yoke?”

“In truth this Wales, Sire, is a gem,
The fairest in thy crown:
The stream and field rich harvest yield,
And fair are dale and down.”

“And all the wretched people there
Are calm as man could crave;
Their hovels stand throughout the land
As silent as the grave.”

Edward the king, the English king,
Bestrides his tawny steed;
A silence deep his subjects keep
And Wales is mute indeed.

Watch a recitation of the above poem (in Hungarian)

Evgeny Baratynsky

Evgeny Baratynsky (born March 2, 1800) Russian poet

Read about Evgeny Baratynsky here and here

Excerpt from Baratynsky's poem "Ultimate Death"

Ages went by, and now my eyes beheld
a fearful sight: death walked the land and the waves;
the fate of living beings was fulfilled.

Where were the people? Where? Dead in their graves!
Like mouldering columns at the frontiers
the last few families were dying out;
towns stood in ruin, senseless flocks unguarded
wandered the meadows where the weeds ran riot;
their food had vanished with the hands that fed them,
and I could hear their hungry lamentation.

And when their bleating died away, a deep
and solemn silence seized on everything,
and nature, savage and imperial,
put on the purple of antiquity.

Magnificent and gloomy the spectacle
of forests, valleys, mountains, seas unpeopled!
The sun still rose into the firmament
and animated nature as in former days,
but nothing was left on earth to celebrate
its rising. Only mist curled on its face,
blue wreaths of smoke, a cleansing sacrifice.

[Translated by Peter France]

Read Baratynsky's poems "Ultimate Death" and "Steamship" in the July 2009 edition of The International Literary Quarterly

Visit the Muranovo Estate website,
originally the home of Evgeny Baratynsky

Metta Fuller

Metta Victoria Fuller Victor (Seeley Regester) (born March 2, 1831) U.S. detective fiction writer – The Dead Letter (1866)

Read Victoria Fuller's novel The Dead Letter

“When Metta Victor wrote The Dead Letter using the nom de plume of Seeley Regester, the only models of detective fiction in English were Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, Charles Dickens’s detective sub-plot in Bleak House (1852–53), and Wilkie Collins’s suspense novel, The Woman in White (1860). Regester’s primary accomplishment lies in extending the puzzle plot of the detective short story to the longer narrative form of the novel.”

[excerpt from B.J. Rahn’s article about “Seeley Regester”]