Ivan Blatný

Poet, son of the writer Lev Blatný (1894-1930). Born in Brno, he spent the first part of his life here – before escaping into exile in 1948. He lived in a house...

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František Halas

Poet, translator and publicist, Brno born, spent his childhood and youth here. He learned the bookseller’s trade from A. Píša and for a brief period (1919–1921)...

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Oldřich Mikulášek

Poet and publicist. Lived in Brno from 1937 until his death, latterly at Mášova street. He is linked to several cultural institutions (the Brno studios of Czechoslovak...

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Jaroslav Seifert

Poet, publicist, memoirist. The first – and so far the only Czech to receive the Nobel prize for Literature. In addition to the lasting popularity he won through...

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Jan Skácel

Poet, writer, editor and translator. Spent most of his life in Brno and is closely linked to a number of Brno cultural institutions (the magazine Host do domu...

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Vít Slíva

Poet and schoolteacher. His connection to Brno dates back to his university days. Apart from one interlude, he has been living to this day at Poděbradova street....

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Brno

Places (in alphabetical order)

Jan Skácel

1922  –  1989

Poet, writer, editor and translator. Spent most of his life in Brno and is closely linked to a number of Brno cultural institutions (the magazine Host do domu /House Guest/ the newspaper Rovnost /Equality/, the Theatre on a string (Divadlo Na provázku). He spent his final years living at Kotlářská 35a. His debut came in 1957 going on to publish a range of poetry collections, the most well known being Smuténka  (The Saddening, 1965), and  Dávné proso (Bygone millet, 1981). He also wrote poems for children and is the author of several distinctive prose cameos (the Jedenáctý bílý kůň /Eleventh White Horse/, selection of 1964). During his time as editor-in-chief in 1963-1969 he brought Host do domu to the forefront among the cultural magazines of the time. His works have been much translated, set to music and put on the stage.



The poem and the place



Aunt Maria’s garden plot

(to Bohumír Matal)

And sometimes it quite wondrously rains
on Brno and the pathway-lining trees
like when aunt Maria with her watering can
sprinkled asparagus and lettuces

Veggie beds long bulldozed flat where now
a prefab high-rise block long stands complete  
where blue kohlrabis once did ever so well
and the gooseberries, quite as childhood sweet

The gardening plot left merely evening sky  
a cloud as rosy as a black man’s palms
and how much we miss the roses too
listen out for whispers in the calm

Aunt Maria is long gone herself
(much has washed away the years did bring)
Brno sometimes does get wondrous rain
as though aunt is lilac watering


                                               translated by Václav Pinkava

 

 

Skácel, Jan: Odlévání do ztraceného vosku (Lost wax casting), Brno: Blok 1984, p. 53.



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