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)

Jindřich Zogata


Poet, writer and translator. Originally from the Czech-Polish-Slovak borders, studied at the Brno College of Agriculture. During the ‘normalization’ worked in various manual labour professions, for political reasons. Returned to Brno in 1974, since 1993 the administrator at Špilberk castle. He published his verse from the 1960s onward, stopped only by the onset of normalization. The dominant theme of his work is an anxiety about civilization, and its attempts to thwart the long-established order of things. His works are also loosely inspired by day-to-day Brno, e.g. in his diptych Šípkový růženec  (Briar Rosary) inspired by the genetics discoveries of J. G. Mendel (1990), and in Den světelného roku (Light Year Day), capturing the city’s moods in the course of one day (1994). His most distinctive and concrete inspirations drawn from Brno history are in the collection S koně dolů (vězni špilberští) (Dismounted /Špilberk prisoners/) dating from 2001, dedicated to Špilberk castle and its involuntary residents.

The author and the places of his/her poems

Špilberk (citadel)

The poem and the place

Eucharist in the Castle Chapel above the Casemates

God has no time saved, put aside
for scoundrels shackled to the ground
He gave them all time to provide
proof of forgiveness for sins found 

In the ground God will leave them lost 
He knows the Devil thousand-more 
into a deep dark dungeon tossed
the cosmos, ’neath the trap-fall door

The rogues can’t stand the resonance
which the sky brings to scoundrels, spread, 
of the cross brought in, in advance
of brought-in water brought-in bread

– This is my body, my blood, pure –
the Curate gives the Holy Host
Out of the Casemates comes a roar
Time so donated quells the most                                                          

                                             translated by Václav Pinkava

Zogata, Jindřich: S koně dolů (vězni špilberští)  (Dismounted /Špilberk prisoners/), Tišnov: SURSUM 2001, p. 50.


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

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