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)

Norbert Holub


Poet, essayist, translator. Born in Jihlava, graduated in medicine in Brno (1990), then worked in several hospitals (in Jihlava and Brno). Since the 1990s a contributor of poems and essays to various literary periodicals; an erstwhile member of the so-called Královo Pole poetic circle, around Vít Slíva. His debut in 1989 was with the collection Zrcadlo pod jevištěm (The Mirror beneath the Stage); since which time he has added several more titles. His poetry is very much around typified by precisely formulated expression, at times verging on coldly contrived rationality; he delights in paraphrasing the texts of others.


The author and the places of his/her poems

The poem and the place

The Jiří Kratochvil Sonnet

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Try to imagine
a sizzling searing June in 1966
and the glowing balcony of a house in Řečkovice,
as typical of small regional city suburban construction.

All of us on the terrace: I, L. and S. dripping with sweat,
S. disrobed goes into the kitchen to prepare tea
in my honour, but to my incalculable suffering.
There I am drooling over the boiling cup like that snatch.

And only as I was criss-crossing the summer night
going home by the eighteen tram (‘sha-li-na’!),
I got the message, or merely guessed it, 

that the naked S. was a bribe, by which L. reckoned up
my prior and most notably my anticipated silence.
A year later her first work was out and second-rate it was.

                                                             translated by Václav Pinkava

Holub, Norbert: Cizí sonety (Others’ sonnets), Brno: Petrov 1996, p. 43. 


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

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