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Between 1923 and 1927 he learned in the Upper Commercial School in Izabella street, in the 6th (today 7th) district of Budapest. His guardian who at this time was not yet married – later he married but had no children – hoped that Miklós would follow him in the directorship of the company founded by him. This was his reason to send Radnóti to a commercial school.

Although commercial subjects did not arouse his attention, the years spent here did not pass without a trace. This school must have influenced his keeping a meticulous, “bookkeeper-like” order around himself. In his diaries he kept accounts of his incomes and expenses, and his Domestic Diary of 1936 also attests that after his marriage he continued it together with his wife. He also kept precise accounts of the publications of his poems. One of his surviving notebooks includes the complete list of his poems published between 18 May 1927 and 15 March 1944.

text by
Babus Antal

All of the following materials, texts and images,
I have copied from an excellent site dedicated to Radnóti Miklós.

IN THE GIBBERING PALMTREE

The gibbering palmtree
is where I’d rather be,
earth body shivering,
heaving soul cowering.

I’d sit up in the tree,
ringed with monkeys scholarly;
sharp voices glittering
would rain on me.

I’d learn their melody,
we’d sing in harmony;
I’d wonder merrily
how nose and bum could be
so blue, so equally.

A gian sun is burning
above our loaded tree;
an shame I would be learning
for all humanity.

The monkeys would know me:
their brains are whole and free.
Were I to share their dwelling,
a good death’s healing
mercy might be given me.

April 5, 1944.

(Translated by S. Oszvath and F. Turner)

Source: a Facebook page dedicated to Radnóti Miklós

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May 28