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Jir Orten Selected Poems

Jir Orten Selected Poems by Jir Orten 1845492854 9781845492854
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"I want to be a poet with all my heart. With all my heart and, even more, I want to die for it!" These were the words Jir Orten wrote to the poet Frantisek Halas in 1939, who published his first book of poetry The First Reader Spring, which appeared under the pseudonym Karel Jlek because Orten, being a Jew, could not be published under his own name. On the 30th August 1941, the day of his twenty-second birthday, he was knocked down by a German ambulance in a Prague street. As a Jew, he was refused first-aid treatment in a nearby hospital. He died two days later of a brain hemorrhage in the Jewish ward of another hospital. Thus his prophetic words from the letter to Halas came true. Jir Orten, despite dying so young at the age of twenty two years, left behind a large body of work. Three of his books, written from autumn 1938 until the eve of his death in 1941, The Blue Book, The Striped Book and The Red Book, are concluded by the poem My Trees of Years. An extensive composition The Lamentations of Jeremiah, written in 1941, repeats the verse "Im that land of Night" several times, evoking not only the loss of The Promised Land, but also of his fatherland, which was enslaved by Nazis. The poem To the Silenced One, which was the eulogy for Jir Orten written by Frantisek Halas, concludes with the verse: "At the time when fish will swim in the cathedrals, this poet will be called on by his name."

Author: Jir Orten

Language: English

Pages: 108

Publisher: Arima Publishing

Publication Date: 2008-01-30

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