THIS IS how the Radvaň cemetery in Banská Bystrica looked in 1920.
Andrej Sládkovič, one of the most outstanding Slovak poets, is buried within its precincts.
This postcard was published on the centenary of Sládkovič’s birth by an unknown publisher, who even decorated it with an extract from one of his poems. Sládkovič was one of the first in the country to write poetry about love. In the period of the so-called Slovak National Awakening, in the middle of the 19th century, he was strongly criticised for this by Ľudovít Štúr, the leader of the national movement. Štúr was convinced that love towards a woman is incompatible with love to one’s homeland.
Well, it is true that Štúr never married, but it can hardly be said that solely revolution beat in his heart. Interestingly, Sládkovič’s love poems were not at all unpatriotic, quite the contrary.
Indeed, his patriotism once almost brought him death. In 1849, he was arrested by Hungarians, court-martialled and sentenced to death for his support of the national uprising.
Eventually, in 1872, he died from an illness in Radvaň, where he had served as a priest.
16. Mar 2009 at 0:00 | Branislav Chovan