About this book
Milan Rúfus (1928–2009) and Jan Skácel (1922–1989) – this match is by far Berger than any rational consideration might admit...
The Slovak and the Moravian poet have been coupled on this superb disc by Dada Klementová. This excellent pianist, composer
and musician, in various connotations, has written countless songs and a number of musicals, while having succeeded as a teacher
at the Janáček Academy, she took an important part in the education of of musical singers — the best in Czechia and Slovakia. She
has always helped the others, be it for success, performance, career, or break-through — and only too naturally she forgets about
herself... Having heard her musicals, I cannot help wondering how such music in its modest and noise-free beauty can have stayed
aside the clamorous fair of show-business and performing art with ever more sales of recycled goods. Actually, I also recycle by
writing these lines for the second time, in a slightly weakened form, the bashful author having refused the first version. But I repeat:
Dada Klementová writes genuine, beautiful and soulful music. Let her Skácel and Rúfus win their enthusiastic listeners and herself
more welldeserved recognition!
Some time ago Jiří Bulis composed a song „Angels whom I meet“. It had no words, the title would do. I have always felt that there
must be more of them around us than we hope. Just perceive... Some sing, some write poems, or simply do something for the others.
Sonya Jány inspired me to the extent that I dared reaching for the poetry of Jan Skácel. And she helped me to learn poems by Milan
Rúfus. I felt bewitched in much the same way as by the works of Skácel. And the idea was born of an imaginary encounter of both
poets who may have never met during their lifetime, but had quite something in common...
Translating poetry is an exciting adventure. And I am thankful to Dada Klementová for having invited me to embark on such
adventurous trip. Not in a dream would I dare translating Jan Skácel. His gorgeous Czech, his ellipses and compressions, the way
he sees the world... Yes, all that should resound in musical inspiration or in subtle graphic art, but in another language system?
Is it not crumpling a butterfly in your palm? However, a verbally inspired composition deserves being given at least a door gap
to the world. I decided to take the challenge as a sort of service and, moreover, as an excursion to my Czechoslovak youth. Milan
Rúfus, a congenial companion of Skácel on this CD, has not confused me with his Slovak, but with his numerous puns. Just take his
Lunapark. “Luna” is the Moon, an important actor in the poem, but where do I find it in Funny Fair? Or “Vážka”. This counterpart
of Dragonfly both in Czech and Slovak is derived from “weighing”, “balancing”, and Rúfus makes ample use of the options – but the
translator to English gets lost. Anyway, it was most amusing and I will get into excellent company appearing in the booklet, without
worrying about the publisher or publicity. Let both gentlemen, Skácel and Rúfus, kindly accept my apologies for having been that
very daring, and Dada Klementová my cordial thanks for the invitation.
Deluxe Version of title (book+songs+film) in the App Carpe Diem Online.
Jan Skácel / Milan Rúfus
Translation of poetry Pavla Váňová