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)

J. H. Krchovský


Jiří Hásek by his real name. Poet and musician, linked with Brno through childhood vacations spent with his grandparents in Komín, choosing their house as his home since the 1990s. He spent  time in Brno alternately with staying in Prague, the city where he was born and raised, and where – largely mingling with its underground culture – his personality developed. He is one of the cult figures among Czech poets of his generation, especially thanks to his first officially published book Noci, po nichž nevychází ráno (Nights, from which no morning rises) (1991), being a selection from his previous samizdat collections. He has since published several other collections; latterly he is busy as a musician in the Krch-off-band.


The poem and the place


Alone… At “Na Piavě” outdoors
from childhood days – my fateful ground
I used to go with grandad… ’Course!
back at the start the ending’s found

Drizzling… Shrouded by twilight’s grace
aft from the deck I look about
the river’s flowing back, apace
all is well – all turned inside out…

The river which had idly tarried
now rushes with a frenzied flow
the broken willow surface-carried
sad sagging branches hung below

Spattering me, rainwater churns   
(all back to front, all as should be)
my wellspring river flow returns
my Svratka, creek calamity!

No waiter comes… Until half past
I’ll wait, then go for my next beer
… all seems to say I’ve sailed my last
God brings just water round out here

… Alone in fools’ own Ark, bereft
huddled beneath my cape I drip
lone in the world, in fool’s role, left
last man aboard a sinking ship

(Brno, October 2001)

                                              translated by Václav Pinkava


Krchovský, J. H. : Poslední list (The last leaf) [2003], in: idem: Básně sebrané (Poems picked up), Brno: Host 2010, pp. 270-271.   


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

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