Letter from Milada Součková to Jindřich Chalupecký with the enclosed poem "A View" dated 15 September 1969

15 September 1969
Dear friend,
I was pleased to receive you letter; I was starting to worry about you not writing for so long, but only because you had mentioned an illness in your previous letter. I am writing back without delay so that you may receive my letter before you set out on your travels. I am especially glad you’re out of the hospital. You give no details of your ailment. I gather there was no operation but I’m sure you’ve had quite enough of hospitals anyway. I don’t think you’re like poor Blatný, with his penchant for getting institutionalized to escape from life. You seem to take everything like a man, without complaining. Well, I’m just glad you’re back to health. I have thought of you and often prayed for you to get better. But take care of yourself and take it easy, and do as the doctor says, especially as you have a demanding journey ahead of you. America can be tough even on hardy constitutions. But as for Burgundy, now, in the autumn, when the „grapes are ripe“– oh my, that will be something! Your letter was moving. I do find it quite special that someone understands me as much as you do – as far as work is concerned – and work, let’s face it, is the same thing or almost the same thing as life, in a sense. And just think how many times you and I had a face-to-face conversation. There have only been two important conversations: the one in your apartment in Karlín (umbrella), and the one before my departure. Both are a part of the repertory of my life. Rykr used to make me believe that you had no interest in my work and that you were turned off by me as a person. I understood that then. People who thought and perhaps still think unfavourably of me would be amazed how much I understand them. And then came your letter to Eurydice. You understand my situation better than anybody, my dear friend, and I suspect I understand you in some respect, too. Let me just add one thing: what we did was worthwhile and what we wrote was worthwhile. Someone has to be the outsider at café tables, groups and cultural politics, and you and I got the unlucky card. There’s nothing we can do about it now. Towards the end of the German occupation and the beginning of 1945/46, I thought for a while that I might have what others had – a literary community, etc. I had been washed out by the years of occupation and not yet swept up by the wave of the new generation. What are all those people like Gross, Hudeček and Bartovský doing now? Occasionally I see their names and reproductions in the Nové knihy [New Books] weekly. Bartovský died, I seem to remember. When you come visit, God willing, you’ll tell me about them. They used to be your crowd, after all. Gross and by extension Hudeček always seemed to me like a pair Rastignacs du pauvre, only they were painters. Before I leave (28 September), I’ll send my poetry collection to Topinka. I would love it if he could show it to you because I’m dying to hear what you think. God’s will be done. I assure you I would love for it, but –I can’t get over the fact that I’m going to see you soon! I’m getting all jittery. Let me repeat: I leave here on September 28 and then I’m in Chicago through early December and again from January 1 until June 1970, with a small break in March. I hope you have all my phone numbers and addresses. But you can always ask for me at the university
(Slavic Department, Chicago and Slavic Division, Harvard University). If you write to me again, let me know your itinerary while in the U.S. Thanks again for everything. Sincere regards to you and Mrs. Jiřina. Her namesakes – dahlias – are now in bloom – Yours, M. S.

A View.
(Epistemological series)
Dear Brother,
The verses –
Unfold the moment.
A stair in the street
The verses burgeon
At age sixteen
Lying in wait
In supple skin.
The verses walled in
Domes in the distance
Beyond the wall enclosed by greenery.
Dear Brother,
you are walking –
the entrance is walled up
trees at the top
early morning in the spring
a Baroque dome
above the hospitals
of Strahov, early morning
in the spring, Volterra
Domes in the distance
above the hospitals
The verses are dying
(at age sixteen)
The entrances walled up
In unwritten verse
Unfold the moment.
Dear Brother,
A freesia blossom
A morning market
in Pisa in the spring
Brunelleschi tower.
Subject: A Woman in the Pantheon
Author: Součková, Milada
Title: Letter from Milada Součková to Jindřich Chalupecký with the enclosed poem "A View" dated 15 September 1969
Origin: Jindřich Chalupecký fonds
Licence: Free license

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