George Faludy 1910-2006
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted October, 2006
Plaque coordinates: 43.667794 -79.387175
George Faludy is revered as one of Hungary's greatest poets. His writing, ranging from love lyrics to political satire to philosophical meditation, reflects a life committed to humanist ideals. A fearless critic of political oppression, Faludy fled arrest in Hungary in 1938 for his anti-Nazi views, and escaped the Holocaust with an invitation to the United States from President Roosevelt. Returning to Hungary after WWII, he was imprisoned by its Communist regime in Recsk, a brutal concentration camp, from 1950 to 1953. There he and a group of others sustained their spirits with secret night-time lectures on literature and history. Faludy left Hungary for England after the suppression of the 1956 Hungarian uprising, and there wrote an extraordinary autobiography, My Happy Days In Hell. Internationally esteemed, he moved to Toronto in 1967. From here he continued to write and lecture, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Toronto in 1978. George Faludy lived at 25 St. Mary St. from 1975 until 1989 when he returned to Hungary after the collapse of Communism.
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted October, 2006
Michelangelo's Last Prayer
by George Faludy
Your anvil is the earth, and with your right arm
You span the arc of heaven like the sun.
Eight decades on this scaffolding a - lifetime -
I sought a sign of you, but there was none.
Under my chisel marble fell to stonedust,
But only torsos, idols would be born.
I found you not, elusive, radiant, sunburst,
Who glowed there pulsing under every stone.
I have myself become an ancient stone block,
Split by vines, a still, curmudgeonly old rock,
But in my soul the old flame yet burns on.
How can I shed this flesh that holds me prisoner?
Strike me, if you can love a hoary sinner,
Divine Sculptor, My God. I am the stone.
Posted January 16, 2011
read the poem for the first time on the TTC about three years ago, I remember writing down it's name and the poet's name. It had taken me till now to look it up, and I'm glad to be able to read it again. YA
Posted March 19, 2010
Being a painter I know what's it like to be on a scaffold for 8 years...thanks TTC
Posted November 28, 2008
i read another poem on the subway named dialogue that i loved....can anyone tell me the author...i moved and can't find it anywhere...i think he's canadian
Posted November 10, 2008
I saw it on the TTC, as well. Such a beautiful poem!
Posted November 8, 2008
Wow. I also saw this poem on the subway and was moved. I am glad to see other people have similar reactions and enjoy this wonderful TTC initiative. Thank you George Faludy.
Posted November 1, 2008
I read this poem while riding the TTC to school, and somehow I was touched by Gyorgy Faludy's words. It's a lovely poem indeed - he should be very proud of his work.
Posted May 6, 2008
I saw this beautiful prayer while riding the Toronto subway, going to my lawyers appointment. Well done TTC.
God bless you Gyorgy Faludy.
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