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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 74 | volume XIII | September-October, 2010



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 74September-October, 2010

Poetry since 1945

p. 1
Ján Gavura

In the period from 1945 to 1948 Slovak poetry witnessed a return to the poetic works of the interwar years and prolongation of literary trends dominant in the 1930s. A significant degree of continuity may be observed in relation to spiritual poetry. Many authors of the first and second wave of the so-called Catholic Moderna wrote their best works at this time. Janko Silan wrote Piesne zo Ždiaru ('Songs from Ždiar',1947) and Úbohá duša na zemi ('The Poor Soul Upon Earth', 1948), and Svetloslav Veigl wrote his book Láska smrť ('Love, the Death', 1946). Furthermore a third wave of the Catholic Moderna developed in a promising way, represented by Vojtech Mihálik and his collection Anjeli ('Angels', 1947) as well as by Viliam Turčány, his junior by two years. More remarkable change, however, can be observed in the works of the most compact avante garde group of poets - the suprarealists. The poetics of fantasy and experimentation had been examined heavily during the critical war years, revealing that behind the rich imagery a relatively superficial and simplified vision of the world incapable of principal reflexion was hidden in the works of several suprarealist poets. In reference to this, M Hamada speaks about the crisis of suprarealism. The most distinguished figures of this avante garde stream, however, did not get lost - R Fabry's poetic composition Ja je niekto iný ('I Is Someone Else', 1946) and Pavel Bunčák's collection S tebou a sám ('With You and Alone', 1946) rank among the most inspiring poetic works of that time.
    The events of the Second World War, the crisis of humanity and critical situations of existence posed pressing questions to the artists who tried to give answers through their verse. Many poems became a direct response to what happened, indeed topics of war could be found in poetry as early as the 1930s when poets perceived the threat of worldwide conflict. All the leading poets reacted to the war and all of them, without exception, opposed it. Among the first was Emil Boleslav Lukáč, who expressed concern at the growth of fascism in Europe as early as in 1934 in his collection Elixír. Later Laco Novomeský, writing his volume Svätý za dedinou ('Saint Behind the Village', 1939) also included poems dealing with the Spanish antifascist resistance. The topic of war was dealt with in further works by Lukáč in his collections Moloch (1938) and Bábel

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