2005 marks the centenary anniversary of the birth in Prague of Vladimir Holan (1905-1980). He was one of the great poets of his time, yet is almost unknown to the English-speaking literary world. In the darkest part of the history of his country, he created such graphic poetry, with expressions and imagery so deep and rich, that the two apocalyptic poems in this book seem to be a precursor to the angst of the whole world today, as it struggles with the turmoil of terrorism and aggression.
Never before published in English, the very title of this book
must surely intrigue prospective readers. Does it imply a SECOND
testament, or is Holan appealing to our individual spirituality?
It is preceded by a short, almost nightmarish poem, with rather dismal
Although both works are rich with graphic imagery, portraying a dark period
in Prague's history, we catch glimpses of Holan's irrepressible humour,
optimism and love of life.