Jan Kostra

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kostra, Jan


Born Dec. 4, 1910, in štavnička. lovak poet. People’s Artist of the Czechoslovak SR (1970). Kostra began writing in the late 1920’s. His first poems were a reaction to the oppressive atomosphere of bourgeois Czechoslovakia. In his search for the meaning of life, Kostra turned to the intimate experiences and memories of childhood (his collection Nests, 1937). The intensification of the fascist threat strengthened the democratic and civic motifs in his poetry—for example, in the collections My Dear One (1939) and Time Has Bared Its Teeth (1940). Kostra’s intimate lyric verse from the war years is tinged with tragic tones. In popular democratic Czechoslovakia, his poetry has developed from individualism to socialist humanism. The new constructive life surges through Kostra’s verses of the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s, collected in For This May (1950), Maple Leaf (1953), Poetry Is Your Business (1960), and Only Once (1968).


Vybrané spisy, vols. 1–2 (vol. 1. Prvých sedem; vol. 2: Za ten mdj).
Bratislava, 1970–71.
In Russian translation:
Stikhi. Moscow, 1960.
[Stikhi.] In Slovatskaia poeziia XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1964.


Chorvath, M. Básnické dielo J. Kostry. Bratislava, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.