Blesok no. 74, September-October, 2010
Poetic Journey to the Harmony
(Viera Prokešová: Ihla. Dunajská Lužná: Milanium, 2005)
Four small collections of poems, many more translations and besides that a great deal of diligent editorial work. With these words it is possible to summarize thirty years of work of Prokešová in Slovak literature, in her afterword to the book Needle (Ihla) – a complete poetic review. The book is supplemented by lyrics of songs from the Mary Stuart musical and unpublished poems.
Viera Prokešová is empathic and perceptive when it comes to herself and her surroundings. Her approach towards reality is specific in her acceptance of the flow of things. She is open to change, arrivals and departures, while subconsciously always searching for the answers of what life changes bring, in the context. Her poetry is a reflection of relationships and mood snapshots. It springs from reality, from the fleetingness of the moment. Even a minor detail of reality is an inspiration for her. Feeling, atmosphere, mood, emotional state, memory, and observance of things natural and unobtrusive are her grounds. Thanks to this her poems have a character of mood-filled thoughts about love, partner relationships, and her own life. Quite often, tender feelings clash with the bad weather outside (she frequently uses rain and snow), and melancholy is also typical. Subtle impressions which uncover the author are essentially a search for the much needed emotional assurance. Sometimes they resonate with decorative styling of the setting or situation. Here one can sense the influence of Chinese poetry translations. That is when Viera Prokešová stages the setting and it becomes a backdrop for her subtle manipulations and the proximity of type and poetical symbolism is in accord with nature and emotional state or mood.
After the release of her debut in 1984, Prokešová’s poetry was labeled “masterfully feminine”. The femininity was justified by her poetry’s subtlety and fragility and dwelling on life and detail. Her poetry is characterized by this even today. The author remains “turned to her inner self” with a broadened view connected to increasing life experiences but without a substantial change of poetics. Her refined poetical expression makes her one of the foremost contemporary Slovak women poets.
Translated by Saskia Hudecová