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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Places (in alphabetical order)

Rudolf Žák

1933  –  1993

Poet, dramatist (e.g. the Satirické divadlo Večerní Brno  (The Evening Brno satirical theatre), publicist and opera libretto writer. Brno-born, spent most of his life here; graduated from the JAMU dramatic arts faculty (1955); participated in several theatres; in the 1960s edited, together with Ludvík Kundera, the monthly review of Mahen’s play Meandr. His prose debut came in 1986 (Vše obvyklé... / Kronika lásky/All the usual … (a chronicle of love/).  Brno-themed poetic motifs are found mainly in his collection Na křídlech modráčků  (On bluethroat wings,1989).

The author and the places of his/her poems

Brno Kamenný vrch (Stone Hill) Obilní trh (Corn Market)

The poem and the place


You bear no poets sunny-plumed 
nightingale stifling factory fumed 
You, bitter arnica consumed

You, where no flock of bridges bleat 
no navigable river tendered 
You stand your ground on stubborn feet 
you, Brno, ever neuter gendered

Your Castle in me stirs no thought 
of nationalist emotions 
Your milieu stands tall but fraught
with sharp-edged sabre notions

You, city dragon-wheeled in parts   
under your smokestacks light departs
You, dear to insufficient hearts

                                                              translated by Václav Pinkava

Žák, Rudolf: Na křídlech modráčků (On bluethroat wings), Prague: Práce 1989, p. 62.


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

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