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...
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)...
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...
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...
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...
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....
Kamenný vrch (Stone Hill) Kohoutovice Kohoutovice (Hotel Myslivna) Koliště (Koliště Street) Komárov Komín Komín, Hlavní (Main street, the Dvořáks’ ) Královo Pole, Palackého třída (Palacký Street) Kraví hora - hvězdárna (observatory) Kraví hora (Cow Hill) Křenová (Křenová Street) Křížová (Křížová Street)
Slovanské náměstí (Slavonic Square) Soběšice St James Square (Churche of St James) St. Anne’s Hospital Stará radnice - Brněnský drak (Old Town Hall - Brno Dragon) Starobrněnská (Starobrněnská Street) Svitava river Svratka river
1919 – 1990
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 at Obilní trh (‘the Corn Market’), where he was frequently the host of other poets of his generation, who blithely called the house “Hotel Blatný”. For several years he worked at the family’s optics shop in Česká street. His debut came in 1940. He is closely tied to Brno through his works; one entire collection is devoted to the city (Melancholické procházky ‘Melancholy walks’, 1941). The verses of this collection have become legendary, being a paean for the city and much credited with its being discovered as a “poetic” city. In exile, after 1948 he spent time in several psychiatric hospitals, but almost the entire time wrote verse on loose sheets and scraps of paper. He was rediscovered in 1979 (Stará bydliště ‘Old domiciles’); in 1991 his mortal remains were transferred to the Central cemetery in Brno.
The water-blasting waned and with the steam rose rest
like slender lilacs after jarring shower spray,
the last beam on the old Cathedral steps slinked west
leaving hushed Zelný trh, sweepingly slinked away.
On the small courtyard now, huddled neath Petrov’s care,
the early evening soft-cracked wide the echo chest,
in the unsullied, clear, pale-violet-tinted air,
in arcades o’er the font, and roofs, in fresh-washed best.
translated by Václav Pinkava
Blatný, Ivan: Melancholické procházky (Melancholy walks) . In: Verše 1933–1953, ed. Rudolf Havel, Brno: Atlantis 1995, p. 61.
The steps leading to Petrov. Blizzard-wrapped I stand.
Zelný trh, font of darkness, and my town beneath.
The town approaching midnight, snoozing lightly bland,
buzzing its puckish song forever through its teeth.
See, an old man comes toward me, crosier aglow,
I scamper down to greet him, calling his name, anew,
that he may this my verse on a fine lass bestow,
who oozes like the night, night of dark honeydew.
While the snowfall descends and sprinkles, stardust bright,
TO MY LOVE ON ST NICHOLAS’ DAY – on a note I write.
translated by Václav Pinkava
Blatný, Ivan: ʻRomance o svatém Mikulášiʼ (St Nicholas ballad) . In: Verše 1933–1953, ed. Rudolf Havel, Brno: Atlantis 1995, p. 384.