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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The place and its poets

Josef Suchý

Places (in alphabetical order)

Josef Suchý

1923  –  2003

Poet, writer, notable translator from Sorbian and German. Born in the Vysočina highlands (Lesní Jakubov near Náměšť nad Oslavou), he came to Brno as a middle school student. While here he went on to the Philosophical faculty and after several teaching posts in other Moravian towns, and his unjust incarceration for political reasons, he came back to Brno. Working initially as a labourer, from 1968 he was a copy editor at the Blok publishing house, particularly active in the publishing of a number of books of original poetry. By nature and poetic style he was a typical country-dweller, close to nature; he learned his way about town gradually, as witnessed by his poem “Křepelka na předměstí” (‘The quail on the outskirts’).

The author and the places of his/her poems


The poem and the place

The quail on the outskirts

From the train-station through the outskirts we headed home.
And June it was
and over the stack of the cement-works the smoke roamed
and the night stabbed and edged with tolling clamour.

At once out of a stillness,
as little as would catch beneath my nail,
and without warning
a quail dropped-in its gentle five-coin jingle –
my very palm adorning.

At first I quivered quite incredulous
as with a relic ancient to the touch,
then saw
I was just simply grateful for the awe,
that what seemed dead and buried, lived so much.

                                                                        translated by Václav Pinkava


Suchý, Josef: Země tvých dlaní (The Land of your palms), Prague: Československý spisovatel 1986.


Jiří Trávníček  -   travnicek@ucl.cas.cz
Michal Fránek  -   franek@ucl.cas.cz

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