Farewell and a Handkerchief: Poems from the Road (Paperback)

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Farewell and a Handkerchief, is composed of Czech Poet Vitězslav Nezval's reflections from his travels in 1933 to Paris, Avignon, Vienna, the Alps, Monaco, M diterran e, Cannes, and Italy, including Venice and Napoli (Naples). He attempted to integrate everything he came into contact with, achieving a heightened sense of perceptive and imaginative reality. The collection is framed by the motif of a handkerchief, first appearing as a symbol of sadness while he was departing from his native land, "Today I'm leaving on the brink of tears," and reappearing at his return home from "magic" lands, once again to "tearfully admit my pain." However, travels also gave him a deep joy, and while the reader experiences the sense of sorrow, or in Czech, the feeling of l tost--the kind that Milan Kundera masterfully described in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting--Nezval's l tost is effervescent, joyful and positive. His return marks his thirty-third birthday, a significant milestone in his life. In this collection, the reader comes across unique associations, occasionally of hallucinating effects, but often presented in loving detail, and seen through the eyes of an innocent and yet thoroughly experienced admirer of the everyday. Nezval's poetic mind creates an evocative imagery of cities, countries, people, social reality of the rich and the poor, the good and the bad (such as approaching Nazism) in a stream of harmonic rhyming. The intentionally lacking punctuation creates a sense of unity of the world which surrounds him and which reminds him of existential reality, as in: Věř kdyz se l ska pol me jak hračka je l pe nechat ji: "When love is broken like a porcelain dove/Just let it go "
The last stanzas of the volume have become a credo for Czechs--they are reflected in songs, recited by school children, and quoted by young adults and old folks alike. It is precisely this simple beauty of life that Czechs admire in their beloved poets, and in Nezval in particular (Karen von Kunes, Yale University):

Farewell, and if we never meet
Our time was marvelous--we've shared enough
Farewell, and soon our trysts will be
With someone new, someone else's love

Product Details
ISBN: 9780996072250
ISBN-10: 099607225X
Publisher: Plamen Press
Publication Date: May 12th, 2020
Pages: 176
Language: English