The Soul Of A Century/Otakar Brezina

The Soul Of A Century  (1943) 
Otakar Brezina
Otakar Březina, from The Soul of a Century.jpg

OTAKAR BREZINA

(1868–1929)

Otakar Brezina, born September 13, 1868 , to a poor artisan family, died March 26, 1929 , as the unique laureate of Czech poetry. Brezina is recognized today as the best representative of modern Czech lyricism, and a deep mysticist, whose diction and concepts breathe the air of deepest religious ecstasy. His symbolic rapturous interpretation of life cries out for social justice and for a better understanding of man’s limited role in the grand scheme of the Universe. Brezina spent his active years as a teacher in western Moravia, whose peaceful, secluded atmosphere enabled him to write his grandiose at times unreal views of life, cloaked in a diction and style rarely equalled in Czech literature. Brezina’s poetic works may well be summed up in the following six volumes, each of which carries its own interpretation of the problems of life. “Mysterious Distances” (1895) followed by “Dawning in the West” (1896) to which he added “The Polar Winds” (1897). Then came a two year period of silence broken in 1899 by “The Temple Builders”. The cycle of Brezina’s poetic mysticism concludes with “The Hands” (1901) and “The Symphony of Streams” (1903).