János Pilinszky (27 November 1921 – 27 May 1981) was one of the greatest 20th-century Hungarian poets and a recipient of the Baumgarten, József Attila and Kossuth prizes. He was the fourth member of the so-called “new moon” generation at the literary magazine “Nyugat”.
His poetry was influenced by his concentration camp experiences, his Christian existentialism, his objective lyricism and his Catholic faith. In addition to poetry, he also wrote epic and dramatic works. In his first volume, Pilinszky draws his readers into a comprehensive world of personality, desire, love, guilt and jeopardy. His language is full of passion, approaching the borders of pain. Later, the aesthetics of the Gospel occupy a central role in his poetry, as evidenced by the increasing shift from passionate, rhythmic use of language towards glorious hopelessness and sparse, ascetic language. His poetry also became more terse, almost as a reflection of his earlier idea that “this call (“of a God banished behind facts”) must be heeded, even at the risk of eternal, perfect silence”.