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The page of Podracká, Dana , English Reception

Image of Podracká, Dana
Podracká, Dana


Podracká entered the literary scene with a collection of poems The Moon Lover. Her debut is an emotional retrospective of childhood and adolescence, in which she also contemplates the meaning of life, the role of man and other issues of human existence. In Winter Guests she still concentrates on essential values: childhood, love and home. Her later works have in common the uncovering of the contemporary woman’s soul, her emotional life full of affection and love, passion and longings, as well as her position in modern society.
Dana Podracká belongs to those Slovak women poets who reach into the depths of feminine feelings but at the same time reflect these feelings in the context of the outside world. The author often deals with various taboos and hidden aspects of life. Her poetry is full of original images often enhanced by pagan or Christian symbols and historical references. Myths, symbols and rational visions coexist dynamically, analyzing and verifying each other. Podracká sees love as the lifegiving and lifesaving essence of hu­man existence.
In her essays she is trying to grasp the most intimate aspects of femininity. This tendency prevails even in her analyses of symbols and trends in the works of outstanding Slovak writers (e. a. Sladkovi
č, Mináč, Mihalkovič) or authors of international fame (Dostojev­skij, Fowles, Tsvetajeva).

How well you learned to combine your observations of the body and soul with observations of how the bodies and souls relate to each other. You combine what you have seen, discovered or found with your predictions and prophesies. (Jozef Mihalkovi

Dana Podracká is one of Slovakia’s leading women poets, who works with a variety of forms from free verse paragraphs to prose poetry. Many of her poems in Lady of Her Own Muzot deal with a moment of consciousness, snapshots of perception, such as wat­ching a child or lover asleep at night. Other poems explore more savage feelings and modes of being and reach deep into the psyche of a poem’s protagonist. In this way they echo the rites of passage Man has undergone and the best of her poems contain both the dimensions of myth and contemporary relationships. The Last Sies­ta of Adam and Eve manages within the space of sixteen lines to evoke a pastoral scene reminiscent of the Quattrocento, but then moves to bleaker less painterly exploration of what the possession of knowledge can imply both for the individual and for a relation­ship. The poem Woman, one of the best short lyrics in contemporary Slovak verse, digs rather more deeply into these concerns and links instincts from prehistory with the violence of giving birth. (James Sutherland-Smith)

In her essays Dana Podracká crosses the borderline between the metaphorical and the rational. Her poetry revolves around the socio-cultural phenomenon of pain which she views as the funda­mental energy of both emotional and rational cognition. Whereas in her essays she intellectualizes this foundation by showing - against the background of historical, social, psychological and cultural facts - that art is life itself and that pain cannot be extracted from it and if the “poor” man tries to do so, he will stay insensitive and uncaring like the proverbial Thomas. (Viktor Ma

What I knew so well as a child, I can only guess now. Because then it teas poetry that didn’t need the poet. And note it is the poet who needs poetry.
For me poetry is the neverending
rite de passage. Passage into something forever covered by fog, hidden beneath a veil of neutrali­ty. There is no such thing in literature as neutral storytelling. Even the utmost loneliness, while alive, is not neutral. Even if it reaches what Lyotard pacts so nicely as basic language, the language of capitulation and oblivion.

Ivan Krasko Prize (1981) for the best debut of the year
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