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Anna Hajnal

(1907 - 1978)

HAJNAL, ANNA (1907–1978), Hungarian poetess, writer, and translator, wife of I. *Keszi . Hajnal was born in Gyepűfűzes. In 1937–38 she was one of the editors of the literary journal Argonauták ("Argonaut"). Her poems are marked by perfection of form and metaphysical feeling. Her lyrical poems cover a wide area and include Jewish, especially biblical, themes, such as "Tánc a frigyláda kõrű" ("Dance Around the Ark of the Covenant") and "Job." The greatest of her Jewish poems, if not of all her poems, is certainly her long poem "Tiszta, tiszta, tiszta" ("Pure, Pure, Pure"), which she terms "a Jewish Dirge." It is a paraphrase of the ritual of *tohorah (the traditional washing of the dead before burial). Both in form and in translation the poem is a masterpiece; the lyrical elements of the text, particularly of the Song of Songs and the thoughts of the mourners, are interwoven with unconventional inner dialogue. Among her published works mention should be made of her collected poems (1948); Ébredj fel bennem álom ("Wake Up My Innermost Dreams," 1935–48), and Esõ esik-versek gyermekekenek ("It Is Raining – Poems for Children," 1954).

[Baruch Yaron]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.