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

Norbert Holub

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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