MANDALA - Website of Gabor Kovacs

                          CURRICULUM VITAE


Motto: ...The poet today shall not be so, like a poet…                    

           /Gregory Corso/


       I was born in Pécs (1958) and even today I live here. I spent my childhood on a mining district relatively distant from the city, close to the forest of Mount Mecsek, which was at the end of our garden. Maybe these circumstances have contributed to a certain wildness in me, which I preserved instinctively in the course of the times.

       The person who valued this characteristic of mine mostly was my grandfather. He protected me even when I was undeserving of this. This has made most deep impressions in me. And his greatness - although he was only a plain miner – is ideal for me until today. I remember that my father told me – I was very young then –: „You know, What Jove may do, the ox may not.” Then I answered without hesitation: I am Jove, and you are the ox. I did not grasp what I had really said then. I know it already today, that i did not want to offend him, but – though it sounds oddly - to free him from conventions.

       In my wayward boyhood I wrote poems with the joy of the forbidden fruit (my environment did not appreciate things like this too much) when I was a high school student. I remember the following poem clearly even now:


        I see signs of your sadness on your face,

        and I hope you don’t want to kill the camels?

        Come, sit behind me, let's go,

        and they are surprised, the little animals,

        because we are throwing white bread

        somewhere behind the desert.


I am not sure that I knew then, what this whole thing meant, but I felt, that it is something new, like some kind of an inner light, which looms up only slowly before us. I did not talk about this for a long time. When I was eighteen years old, my interest turned towards Chinese and Japanese poetry and painting, During thet time I got acquainted with  the poems of Li Taj-po, Tu Fu and Po Csü- ji, which was very enlightening on me. Later I discovered the specific message of the Japanese Noh Theatre’s, the Japanese tea ceremony and the flower arrangement’s (Ikebana).

       With this I have already pointed out what kind of direction I was looking for the artistic inspiration, the spirit, that exceeds the schemes. All this does not mean that I did not have Hungarian ideals. Such ideal was the poet Sándor Weöres (see his philosophical work: A guide to completeness) and through him Béla Hamvas or among the contemporaries poets Judit Kemenczky, who was born in 1948, and she was the first who translated some Noh Plays into Hungarian.

       After obtaining my degree at Teacher’s Training College of Pécs, as a teacher of Geography and Drawing, I found a job as a teacher. Subsequently my poems appeared in literaly papers and other periodicals, such as the Kortárs, Új Symposion, Stádium, and so on. Besides, I was a contributor with a weekly paper (A helyzet) as well as I was the co-editor of a local pedagogic journal (Együtt). This latter - was „half-public” only - proved to be an interesting task for me. My first volume of poems: The Afternoon of an Eagle appeared In 1999. Later my view was influenced significantly by obtaining a specialised degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Pécs, Faculty of Humanities. All that ended in my new book: The Widow Burning, which was published by Kelet Kiadó in 2008. After a significant pause appeared my next volume of essays: My sunny heresy, wich was published by Pro Pannonia Kiadó in 2015.
       As for my publications, I think, without my friends' stimulation, I would hardly step forward. Most likely it is because I do not feel that I am thrusted into the background. Besides I have always felt drawn towards underground literature, which I do not associate with failure, but rather as a hidden vitality.
       Possibly it resulted that for me writing poems is a kind of naturalness, that is the denial of all kinds of mechanism, which usually entails the simplicity of the shaping, even, one might almost say: entails with the largest calmness and carelessness. Zeami Motokijo, the master of Japanese classic theatre (see Tamás Vekerdy: The instruments of the theatrical effect - according masterpieces of Zeami, Magvető Kiadó 1974) says – and I agree with him in a full measure - that the highest style is the invisible style, the no-style, which does not aim fullness, the absolute, and still surpasses itself.
       The secrets of phenomena await for us, if we just stick together beside a sound, a feeling, a spark reality, that is a fact. The only guarantee, to confront reality is  if we give up our intentions.
       Writing a vivid poem is so involuntary, than the opening of the eyes. To get up at the first secret signal, not for a wake-up call. Not to know what it is necessary to know - this is the still open window for poetry.