Maša Haľamová

Narodenie 28. 8. 1908 Blatnica
Úmrtie 17. 7. 1995 Bratislava






  • Briefly about author

    Masa Halamova is a poet of fragile feminine lyrics capturing with simple, sincere words the stirrings of the heart: feelings of unfulfilled love, marital happiness, pain over the loss of her husband.
    Masa Halamova is a poet of fragile feminine lyrics capturing with simple, sincere words the stirrings of the heart: feelings of unfulfilled love, marital happiness, pain over the loss of her husband. These three levels determine the main tone of all four of Halamova's poetry collections. Of course her range is broader (there are often motifs of the beauties of nature, or - to be more precise - of her enchantment by the Tatra mountains, where she lived for thirty years, and experiences from her stay in Paris). An organic part of her lyrical nature is a social theme under the unmistakable influence of the Czech poet, Jiří Wolker, who died of tuberculosis during an attempted cure in the High Tatras and who was very popular in the twenties. In her work Maša Haľamová followed the symbolist tradition of Ivan Krasko but the frequent use of free verse brought her closer to the more modern post-symbolist tendencies in poetry. Her poems are characterised by deeply felt and conscientiously articulated emotional experiences. Haľamová's love lyrics oscillate between the two extreme poles of love: between its birth and its death. Haľamová is considered a true master of the brief poetic sketch. The tiniest tremors of a girl's soul are captured in precisely crystalline and pure shapes whose fragility is reminiscent of the work of old goldsmith masters. The poems Red Poppy, Ballad, The Enchanted Mountain, Of May, are among the jewels of Slovak love lyrics. Haľamová reminiscences of her dead husband are characterised by balanced emotion and a power of deeply felt experience; they belong among the strongest texts in the newer Slovak poetry. Here she moved from emotionally tuned verse to transparently pure reflection and meditation on the destiny of people who pass from a life where they have given love. Haľamová died in 1995.
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  • Briefly about production

    poetry: Gift (Dar, 1928), Red Poppy (Červený mak, 1932), Poems (Básne, 1955), I Live Your Death (Smrť tvoju žijem, 1966), Fragments (Čriepky, 1993). Her collected poems
    poetry:
    Gift (Dar, 1928), Red Poppy (Červený mak, 1932), Poems (Básne, 1955), I Live Your Death (Smrť tvoju žijem, 1966), Fragments (Čriepky, 1993). Her collected poems had been published under the title Poems (Básne) in 1957, 1972 and 1978.

    literature for children:
    Mechúrik Koščúrik and His Friends (Mechúrik Koščúrik s kamarátmi, 1962), Petrišorka (1965), The Tit from the Coconut House (O sýkorke z kokosového domčeka, 1976)

    essays:
    More Precious Than Gold (Vzácnejšie než zlato, 1988), Confessions (Vyznania, 1988), The Tatras´ Leaves (Tatranské listy, 2001) 

    collected works:
    Poems (Basne, 1957), Poems (Basne, 1972), Poems (Basne 1978)

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  • Biography for author

    She was born 28 August 1908 as Mária Pullmanová in Blatnica (central Slovakia). She attended school in Martin and in Stará Pazova (Serbia), completing her secondary education at
    She was born 28 August 1908 as Mária Pullmanová in Blatnica (central Slovakia). She attended school in Martin and in Stará Pazova (Serbia), completing her secondary education at the Commercial school in Martin (1925). She worked at the Institute of Culture and Adult Education (Osvetový ústav) in Bratislava and from 1926 as a secretary in a sanatorium in Nový Smokovec. From 1929 to 1930 she studied French in Paris. Together with her doctor husband she lived at Štrbské Pleso in the High Tatras until 1956. The following two years she worked in the publishing house Osveta in Martin and from 1959 to 1973 in Bratislava in the publishing house Mladé letá, specialising in books for children and young people. From 1973 she lived in retirement. She died on 17 July, 1995, and is buried in the National Cemetery in Martin, the cultural centre of Slovakia.
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  • Works and reviews of works

    Poetry

    • Dar (1928)
    • Červený mak halamova (1932)
    • Básne (1955)
    • Smrť tvoju žijem (1966)
    • Červený mak, Komu dám svoju nehu (1968, obe 1968)
    • Čriepky (1993)
    • Nepokoj (1998)
    • Milému (2003, 9.issue)
    • Ja som tú poéziu žila (2008, 1.issue)

    Essay

    • Vyznania (1988)
    • Vzánejšia než zlato (1988)
    • Tatranské listy (2001, 1.issue)

    For children and youth

    • Svrček a mravci (1957)
    • Mechúrik Košťúrik s kamarátmi (1962)
    • Petrišorka (1965)
    • Hodinky (1966)
    • O sýkorke z kokosového domčeka (1976)

    Literary science

    • ...a poďakujem sa životu (2008, 1.issue)
  • About author

    We hold Maša Haľamová dear for another reason, too. Her view of things is not an exaggerated sentimentality. From every word there shines pain triumphed over, reconciliation, a heroism
    We hold Maša Haľamová dear for another reason, too. Her view of things is not an exaggerated sentimentality. From every word there shines pain triumphed over, reconciliation, a heroism of faith, a child-like fidelity to life and its distress. She was accused of being in thrall to Wolker. It is true that Maša Haľamová was fond of Wolker, but she never expressed an experience other than her own. Her verse is completely her own and it is rooted through its content in her nature and her life. It has a universal value and can be read as easily by a child as an adult. In her tendency to avoid being too artificial Maša Haľamová didn't even employ rhyme so that her verse would not sound too brief, and yet these quietly intoned moods and declarations with incidental rhyme sound sweet.
    Milan Pišút

    What is important is not how many books a poet wrote, but what he said in them and with what art he expressed it. Thus we willingly forgo quantity and reach instead for slim volumes where - as Ivan Krasko said - "every word has blood drying on it". Maša Haľamová is one such poet. The extent of her work is balanced by the intensity of experience, the ability of concentration only on the questions and events that she felt and experienced internally. This is probably why her work did not expand and did not take more thematic directions. Although the poetry of Maša Haľamová is existentially bound to her human and artistic subject and draws mainly on her own emotional sources it would not be correct to limit the core of her meaning and art to this subjective sense of the word. The world of Maša Haľamova's poetic work is also the world of many other people and in spite of its unequivocal personal tone it has objective validity. Haľamová knows very well that poetry should neither teach nor moralise. But it can accompany a person as the voice of his conscience and refine his senses for the perception of things, which he had long forgotten amid his daily mechanised life, or whose victim he has become.

    Miloš Tomčík

    The poetry of this author went so much its own way, so much out of the way of changing literary tastes and so independent from them that their enumeration and characteristics in fact loses any significance (perhaps with the exception of certain faint echoes of proletarian poetry and the poetist movement). With the decisive part of its existence her work lived and lives outside the cockfighting guard of literary manifestos. Just as its author lived alone for decades far from the milieu and bustle of littérateurs, and even of civilisation. And yet the readers' demand for new editions of her work has always come according to some star clock slowly and regularly like Spring in the Tatras. So what do I wish to speak about? About an exciting secret, about the profound treacherousness of her so-called simplicity. About the fact that we shall need much more information in order to at least properly survey what we today call simplicity, let alone to comprehend its secret. So far, it has been the poet rather than the scholar who has intuited the depths of simplicity, its immensely complex connection to things as yet unspoken. It was a poet who said that if man needs something above all, it is wisdom of this kind, although complexity is understood more readily than simplicity (as he added with a trace of irony). That simplicity, which is an unmediated expression, the sound of being itself, something which isn't dependent on complex interconnections of human brain cells because the message has already occurred in the body, even the body of one's ancestors.

     

    Milan Rúfus

    Maša Haľamová did not achieve the miraculous simplicity and ordinariness of her words easily. Modest, seemingly at the edge of literary and life events, she shone without experiment and bohemianism, without any visible inclination towards any art movement. Her defence was only the sincerity with which she spoke about unhealed wounds, the unfalsified emotional experience of a girl's heart and the later maturity of an experienced woman and human being: "I'll not reach / the end of a distance / which grows in the heart".

    Anna Ondrejková

     

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