Bezruc, Petr

Bezruč, Petr

Bezruč, Petr (pĕtˈər bĕzˈro͞och), pseud. of Vladimir Vašek (väshˈĕk), 1867–1958, Czech poet, called the bard of Silesia. Bezruč's fame rests solely on the Silesian Songs (1903, enl. ed. 1909). In these 88 stark, moving verses the poet protests the suppression by the Austrians of the Slavic peoples living between Silesia and Moravia. Bezruč was an admirer of Whitman, but his work belongs to no school. After World War II the Czech government granted him a pension.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bezruč, Petr


(pseudonym of Vladimir Vaŝek). Born Sept. 19,1867, in Opava; died Feb. 17,1958, in Kostelec nad Hana. Czech poet. People’s Poet of the Republic (1945).

Bezruč was born into a schoolteacher’s family, and he studied at the Charles University in Prague. His first poems were published in 1899. Silesian Songs (1909), the collection of poems to which the poet added throughout his life, reflects the people’s revolutionary protest and creates the image of the Czech worker. Bezruc was developing the genre of the realistic social ballad and turned to the poetics of folklore. In his narrative poem The Sky Blue Butterfly and in the poems and sketches of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Bezruc took the bourgeois democracy in Czechoslovakia down from its pedestal. During 1937–38 he published a collection of poems from various years entitled Paralipomenon.


Slezské pisné, 2nd ed. Prague, 1957. In Russian translation: Silezskie pesni. Moscow, 1958.


Solov’eva, A. “Petr Bezruch i ego ’Silezskie pesni.’ “In the collection Literatura slavianskikh narodov, issue 2. Moscow, 1957.
Ocherki istorii cheshskoi literatury XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
Buriánek, F. Petr Bezruc. Prague, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.