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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

Closing Remarks On Ján Ondruš’ Poetry

p. 1
Zvonko Taneski

Excerpt from the Slovak Academic Monograph Entitled
    Metaphorical Models of Figurativeness in the Poetry of Ján Ondruš

Ján Ondruš has got a permanent and unique place in the body of Slovak poetry of the second half of the 20th century. His poems moved the domestic creative atmosphere and led to changes. Nevertheless, the movement of said poetry, in its extreme positions, could not have been accomplished without the immanent essential loss in its poetics. As a legitimate response to the pragmatic specialization of the function of poetry and as a defensive reaction against the leveling of creation, Ondruš’ poetry is associated with the establishment of a “new awareness in Slovak literature in the 1960s.” Ján Ondruš’ poetic results are evident in the field of “complex” departures of Slovak poetry from its forms theretofore that had a lasting effect on the overall character of the subsequent domestic poetic production. Ján Ondruš firmly believed that he must never serve the political purposes or public recommendations of the given age. He had to remain free, regardless of the fact that in his early stages one might note a certain level of “implicit engagement,” when in his poem he includes German soldiers (Prehĺtanie vlasu – Prvý mesiac, Nemecká prehliadka 1944, p. 29) and Auschwitz (Šialený mesiac, Osvienčimský oheň, Osvienčimský popol, pp. 65, 67, / Prvý mesiac, pp. 26, 27). Either way, “in Ján Ondruš’ debut collection – Crazy Moon (Šialený mesiac), searching for a relic of schematism, we find only two poems on Auschwitz, and even there one could barely speak of a certain conformism with the spirit of the age (perhaps only in the verses “and so/ life remained”); but it is primarily a question of meditation on life and death that is not usable for political purposes[1]. It is therefore also true since “the author was denied certain rights during the totalitarian regime, and I understood that as a safeguarding protective shield for the sense of his poetry had always been remarkably anti-totalitarian, and in the end – the author expressed it through highly encrypted images[2].”
    Certainly, Ondruš’ opus cannot be defined or assessed in a hurry and solely on the grounds of what at first look it has to offer, of what we may hold against him or what we cannot draw out of him. The character of this poetry is complex, above all, contradictory, dynamically conflicted, as poetry rousing disparate constellations can


1. MIKULA, V.: K niektorým reziduám schematizmu v postschematickom období slovenskej poézie. In: BraSlav 2. Zborník z medzinárodnej slavistickej konferencie. Bratislava, FF UK 2003, p. 298.
2. KOVALČÍK, V.: Pohľad na Kľak. In: Literika, 1, ch. 3-4, 1996, pp. 127-128.

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