Seifert, Jaroslav

Seifert, Jaroslav,

1901–86, Czech poet. Starting as a revolutionary "proletarian" poet, Seifert soon began to emphasize fantasy and enchantment as antidotes to modern technological civilization. After signing an anti-Stalinist manifesto, he was expelled from the Communist party, and his verse then addressed itself more directly to social themes. Seifert was a signatory of the Czech Charter 77 manifesto. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1984.


See E. Osers, tr., An Umbrella for Piccadilly (1983).

Seifert, Jaroslav


Born Sept. 23, 1901, in Prague. Czech poet.

Seifert is one of the founders of Czech proletarian poetry (the collection A City in Tears, 1921). In some collections, for example, Only Love (1923), he glorified the romance of love; he turned to social themes in the collection The Nightingale Sings Badly (1926). During the 1930’s, Seifert developed the traditions of Czech realistic lyric poetry. The Munich tragedy intensified his patriotic and civic feelings, which were expressed in the collection Put Out the Lights (1938). Collections such as Božena Nĕmcová’s Fan (1940) and The Clay Helmet (1945) are devoted to the themes of the motherland, the Prague Uprising, and Czechoslovakia’s liberation from the fascist occupation. His postwar collections of verse include Mozart in Prague (1946), My Dear Mother (1954), The Boy and the Stars (1956), and The Casting of the Bells (1967). In 1936 and 1955, Seifert was awarded the State Prize of Czechoslovakia.


Dilo. vols. 1–7. Prague, 1958–70.
In Russian translation:
In Antologiia cheshskoi poezii, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.


Fučik, J. Stati o literatuře. Prague, 1951.
Piŝa, A. M. Stopami poezie. Prague, 1962.
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