Letter to Josef Hora (1939)

Plzeň, 19 Aug. 1939
My Dear Friend,
I recall the late hour of an August night at the pub U Šupů when you read to me from your notebook about two verses from Jan houslista (Jan the Violinist). At the time I was slightly caught up in the spirit of alcohol, but I remember well the magical hum of the rhythmic music through which the poem seeped into me. I am now reading your book – for the third time – with a clear head and am completely enchanted. It is like something from Bedřich Smetana, if he had seen the First World War, lived through the period of the First Republic and had to bear the humble burden of today’s world. Your poem brings me a feeling of personal happiness – as if I were listening to the music of our great composer.
Since I fell so much in love with Jan houslista, you’ll have to forgive me for pointing out two small details that bother me when reading it. The second stanza contains “New York and Moscow, Paris, Rome…”. It seems to me that it is difficult to pronounce, especially for those reciting
the poems out loud, when Paris is followed by Rome. Perhaps the cities belong in the order that you have arranged them. Would the meaning of the verse be diminished if you switched the positions of Paris and Moscow? And in the third stanza, can we say “in Good Friday”? I feel that we would say “on Good Friday” or “of Good Friday”. Stanza seven has a minor typo: “ivy…”
Once more, please forgive my pedantry; it just goes hand in hand with beautiful enchantment.

Sending you my best wish and season’s greetings.
B. Polan
Subject: In the network
Author: Polan, Bohumil
Title: Letter to Josef Hora (1939)
Licence: Free license

Other exhibits from the chapter

This website uses cookies.

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, provide social media features and analyze our traffic. We also share information about the use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. They may use the data together with other information they collect about you while using their services.

Deny all
Show details
Allow all