From reviews and commentaries about Volková
From reviews and commentaries about Volková
“Bronislava Volková is considered among the Czech exile community and its writers – of whom I am one – one of the most distinguished and important Czech poets living today. Her images, the dream-like quality in her writing, and the love for humanity expressed in her poetry mark an original voice, and as her latest book shows, she is maturing from a talent into a master.”
Arnošt Lustig, Washington, 1985
The subtle poetry of Volková moves us with its shimmering light of intimate warmth. It is impossible not to hear how it pours itself against the crawling night, searching for the always disappearing sun on our account; that is the sun for the conjuring away of the night. This is a poetry light as a dream. It would almost seem, that it is only a dream.
Marián Hatala, Bratislava, Dotyky, 1991
We are lucky to have a new talent come to us in the words we use every day. The newness is clearer when – as in the case of these poems by a Czech woman – the talent speaks to us from a language, culture, and tradition that most of us are just beginning to know. The sensibility formed by them speaks in these poems with remarkable freshness, vividness and originality, and its subject is the life we share.
W.S. Merwin, New York, 1993
“In the poetry of Bronislava Volková there is something silky, something like threads of a spider web stretched in an open space. Each poem is an attempt to hold the words in a weightless state above the sensed oppressive weight of the world. A few years ago this poetry was still something of an exception in the Czech context. Today, in the new era, it flows right into the main stream, which is an interesting proof of the fact that Czech poetry is as alive in Bloomington as it is in Prague. This collection of Bronislava Volková shows very clearly the intrinsic lyricism and stylistic tenderness which so far have not received much attention in foreign portrayals of literature.”
Miroslav Holub, Prague
“Bronislava Volková is an important and outstanding representative of Czech exile poetry before and after November, even though after the fall of the totalitarian system in former Czechoslovakia, such a differentiation of literature is only the expression of historical and evolutionary point of view, not a value-oriented one. The literature of prose writers, poets and playwrights living outside the territory of Czech Republic gradually got integrated into Czech national literature and became a legitimate part of it. Such highly successful integration, according to my opinion, occurred also with the poetry of Bronislava Volková.”
Igor Hochel, PEN, Bratislava, 2004
“It is charming how all the mystery of the lyrical work of B. Volková besieges you from intuitive interpretations to that raging of dialectical vibrations, to that ballet movement of semiotics, to the heavy stamping of matter-of-factness. Today’s literary criticism often neglects books that are not exhibitionstic in a literary sense. However, the evolution happens when the poet gives all, when she risks even her existence and carries her work through the chaos, when she articulates that which the person of the end of the twentieth and the beginning of our century has no word for. This is the case of Bronislava Volková. While the contemporary fashionable and chaotic deliria often have the effect of the “šaratice” (mineral water with laxative effect), the lyrical work of Volková is pellucid, complicatedly simple. She journeys with those searching and accompanies the seekers.
B.V. is a poet to whom the Czech literary criticism owes a great debt. It is all very simple and very complicated. But I know that if we did not have the work of B.V., we would be poorer. I want to say that the poems of B.V. are a part of modern Czech lyrical poetry.”
Josef Hrubý, PEN, Prague, 2004
Návrat / Heimkehr (Return) brings a bilingual Czech-German representative selection of lyrical wok of one of the most outstanding Czech voices of the last decades. Existential insistence is interconnected with a sensual metaphysics, imagination with intellect, individual persistence with a knowing brevity, speaking about conditio humana = all this co-creates a meaningful enforcement of the individual over the chaotic world.
Kristina Kallert, Regensburg, 2019
Verses of Bronislava Volková are a universe of the soul. They are flexible, including the temporary and the eternal, metaphysics and the most real, lived and lived through life. In order to write like this, a special gift is needed. The poet has to make herself an artwork. If we open e.g. a volume of Walt Whitman and then we turn right away to Bronislava Volková’s verses, we will understand what a contemporary poetry is. An extreme terseness and concentration of life. And at the same time an understatement. A density of speech, yet air between the lines.
Aleksandr Karpenko, Moscow 2020