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Haľamová Maša
Poems for children

Haľamová Maša(1908—1995)  Poems for children

Maša Haľamová was the most notable Slovak poet of the first half of the 20th century, author of books for children, and translator. She was born in a Russophile-orientated family of a haberdasher in the region of Turiec (Central Slovakia). After studying at grammar schools in Martin and Bratislava, she graduated from the Business Academy in Bratislava. She also completed a French language course at the Sorbonne, Paris. While recovering from a bronchial illness in the High Tatras, she met the charismatic Czech poet J. Wolker (1900 – 1924) whose life and work influenced her poetry from the outset. It was in the mountains that she also met her future husband, MUDr. Pullman, whom she later married and lived with in Štrbské Pleso until his death in 1956. During her stay in the High Tatras, she worked as a clerk at a sanatorium office in Nový Smokovec. In addition, she was a great skier and in 1935 took part in the World Championships in Štrbské Pleso as a referee. From her husband’s death until her retirement, she worked as an editor in Martin and than in Mladé letá publishing house in Bratislava where died. In spite of it she was buried in the national cemetery in Martin. Her poetry abounds with gentleness, fragility, and tenderness blended with the motifs of love and balladry which draw upon natural imagery, especially the High Tatras. Her first collection of poems Dar (The Gift, 1928) takes love as its theme, and her second work, Červený mak (Red Poppy, 1932) features the heart. The third collection of poems was published after a long period of struggling with widowhood: Smrť tvoju žijem (Living Your Death, 1966). Her poems have been translated into nine languages, and several set to music by Slovak composers.

Slovakia, 2008, Maša Haľamová

Slovakia, 2008.04.17, Blatnica. Dove


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