Charles Tamkó Sirató - Biography

Charles Tamkó Sirató in Paris, 1936

Charles Tamkó Sirató [Tamkó Sirató Károly, Tamkó Károly, Sirató Károly, Charles Sirato, Ch. T. Sirato] (Újvidék /Novi Sad/, 26 January 1905 – Budapest, 1 January 1980): art philosopher, poet, prose writer, translator, yogi.

He embarked upon his career as a student poet. While studying law in Budapest he became increasingly drawn to the Avant-garde. The Dadaist gestures, technocratic approach and visuality manifest in his volume entitled Papírember [Paper Man] (Békéscsaba, 1928) caused a major stir at the time. During his experimentation with genres he developed the theory of two-dimensional poetry called Planism. From 1930 he lived in Paris, where he created the theory and the manifesto of Dimensionism, supported by the prominent artists of the period. His deteriorating health forced him to return to Hungary. The outbreak of World War II and the subsequent strict restrictions and control imposed on foreign travel and relations in Hungary finally left him isolated from his artist friends in Paris.

Yoga breathing techniques helped him to recover from a long period of ill health. He opened a yoga studio in the late 1940’s and developed a system for healthy living. After the seclusion of the 1950’s he re-entered the Hungarian literary scene as a translator. He earned recognition mainly through the children’s poems full of wordplay that he started writing in the 1970’s and on which several generations have since then been raised. Many of these poems are also set to music. In his later years his attention increasingly turned to the cosmos and the achievements of space exploration. He left a large body of unpublished works and fragments to posterity.

Main publications

Az Élet tavaszán, poems, Mezőtúr, 1921;
Papírember, poems, Békéscsaba, 1928;
Le Planisme, in "Fradique", Lisbon, 1936;
Manifeste Dimensioniste, Paris, 1936;
Kiáltás, poems, Budapest, 1942;
A három űrsziget, science-fiction, Budapest, 1969;
A Vízöntő-kor hajnalán, selected poems, Budapest, 1969;
Tengereczki Pál, poems for children, Budapest, 1970;
A hegedű vőlegénye, selected literary translations, Budapest, 1971;
Pinty és Ponty, poems for children, Budapest, 1972;
Kozmogrammok, poems, Budapest, 1975;
Tengereczki hazaszáll, poems for children, Budapest, 1975;
Szélkiáltó, poems for children, Budapest, 1977;
Jövőbúvárok, selected poems, Budapest, 1980;
Összegyűjtött versei I., [Collected poems, Budapest], 1993;
A Dimenzionista Manifesztum története ... [The History of the Dimensionist Manifesto ... ],
    Artpool – Magyar Műhely, Budapest, 2010
        Book supplement: Manifeste Dimensioniste, 1936, reprint (pdf)

        [see the English translation of the Content page]