October 25, 2021
Sándor Petőfi (born Sándor Petrovics, Kiskőrös, January 1, 1823 - around Fehéregyháza, July 31, 1849) is a Hungarian poet, revolutionary, national hero, one of the best known and one of the most prominent figures in Hungarian poetry. During his short life, he wrote nearly a thousand poems in Hungarian, of which about eight hundred and fifty remained for posterity, and the better known ones were translated into many other languages. He lived in Pest from 1844, and from 1846 he organized a literary society with his friends. Despite his young age, he had gained national recognition by this time. As one of the leaders of the “Youth of March,” he took part in the revolution of March 15, 1848, of which he became a symbol. The 26-year-old poet then also took part in the struggles for freedom. According to the present-day position of historians, he also sacrificed his life for Hungarian freedom, as he fell on July 31, 1849, during a headless escape following the battle of Sighisoara, in a massacre perpetrated by Cossack ulans persecuting the military. However, all the circumstances of his disappearance have not been clarified to this day. He is the performer of Hungarian romanticism and has introduced hitherto unknown themes in Hungarian poetry: he first appeared in family poetry, in his love poems the depiction of marital and conjugal love, and in his landscape poetry the “sheer” drawing of the Hungarian Great Plain. He wrote for the first time in his poems about "world freedom", and through him a completely new voice was heard in Hungarian literature. He spoke plainly, simply to everyone, as he incorporated the language of the people into literature and centered the idea instead of the outward form of the poems. Many of his poems are known to almost all Hungarians. A song, puppet show, cartoon and rock opera were also made from the narrative poem of John the Knight. His best-known poem is the National Song, which is the current message of the revolution of March 15, 1848, and an outstanding work of Hungarian patriotic poetry. Its memory is preserved in Hungary and in the Hungarian-inhabited places of the Carpathian Basin by several museums and memorial houses, as well as countless street names, statues and memorial plaques.