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First English translation of The Bloody Sonnets presented in London

One copy also given to Queen Elizabeth II.

Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav (Source: TASR archive)

The British Library in London hosted the promotion of the very first translation of The Bloody Sonnets, written by Slovak poet and polymath Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav on November 7.

The event took place on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War

“The centenary of the end of WWI is a good opportunity to return such a big name in our literature to the pedestal of world literature via an English translation,” said the Slovak Ambassador to the UK, Ľubomír Rehák, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

He presented the book alongside its translator John Minahane. Part of the event was the reading of selected poems.

British queen has a copy

Hviezdoslav wrote his collection of 32 sonnets as a response to the first news about WWI. He expressed his pain and outrage at the moral decay of humans that begin war conflicts and cause pain and suffering. The book was first published in 1919, and since then has been translated into several languages, TASR reported.

A special edition of The Bloody Sonnets was given to Queen Elizabeth II. She appreciated its strong humane message, which is topical today, as the Slovak Embassy in London said.

The embassy, together with its partner institutions, will now organise a series of promotions of The Bloody Sonnets, which stands among Hviezdoslav’s greatest works. The events will take place during November in several cities, including London, Belfast, Cardiff, Stirling, Dublin and Cambridge.

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