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The Well at Morning: Selected Poems, 1925–1971
by Bohuslav Reynek
translated by Justin Quinn
Karolinum Press, 2017
eISBN: 978-80-246-3426-5 | Cloth: 978-80-246-3425-8

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Springtide
 
A chaffinch in a tree
of cherry sings merrily
spring’s introit.
 
Its blazing bobble dwells
in leaves, alive, and swells
in scarlet.
 
The flowers are flares of white.
The chaffinch has gone quiet
and turned sky-gazer.
 
My eyes close on the day:
an orb revolves in grey
and red and azure.
 
Poet and artist Bohuslav Reynek spent most of his life in the relative obscurity of the Czech-Moravian Highlands; although he suffered at the hands of the Communist regime, he cannot be numbered among the dissident poets of Eastern Europe who won acclaim for their political poetry in the second half of the twentieth century. Rather, Reynek belongs to an older pastoral-devotional tradition—a kindred spirit to the likes of English-language poets Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, and Edward Thomas. The Well at Morning presents a selection of poems from across his life and is illustrated with twenty-five of his own color etchings. Also featuring three essays by leading scholars that place Reynek’s life and work alongside those of his better-known peers, this book presents a noted Czech artist to the wider world, reshaping and amplifying our understanding of modern European poetry.

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