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Book Tips - Jaroslav Seifert

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1984 was awarded to Jaroslav Seifert "for his poetry which endowed with freshness, sensuality and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man".

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The Early Poetry of Jaroslav Seifert

Written between the ages of 20 and 25, Seifert, in his first four collections of poems, presents the reader with four radically differing styles of poetry (Socialist Realism, quasi-Futurism, Surrealism/Dadaism, and a general Modernist Lyricism, respectively), all of which he is already a master of this early on in his career. Although much of his later poetry is masterfully composed and very stylistically cohesive, these early works present an author who clearly feels free to experiment with different movements of varrying popularities, all with a clear head and a poetic eye; likewise, they are fascinating as some of the only forays into these schools by a future Nobel Laureate in Literature (particularly the authentically Surrealist/Dadaist poetry of Navlnách T.S.F. [On The Waves Of TSF]). Seifert's poetry is always relevatory and beautiful; but these early poems and poetic experiments stand out, I think, most particularly as exciting and fresh, even over seventy years after the last of them was written. I think it is no accident that, when Seifert chose to write his memoirs, almost at the end of his life, he chose to title them after one of his most beautiful poems, Všecky krásy světa (All The Beauties Of The World), originally published in the second of these volumes, 'Samá láska' (Sheer Love), written in 1923.
/Marc-David Jacobs, United States
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