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Dobriša Cesarić

Dobriša Cesarić (10 January 1902 – 18 December 1980) was a Croatian poet and translator born in Požega.

Despite his limited output, Cesarić is considered as one of the greatest Croatian poets of the 20th century.


Cesarić was one of the most prominent Croatian poets and the founder of modern Croatian poetry. He was the creator and editor of numerous magazines. His first collection of poems “Lyrics” was awarded as the best poem collection of the year. His poem "The Trumpeter of Seine" also received a recognition, so his verses were already a part of the anthologies of poetry in German and French, as well as in the anthology of World poetry "Poeti del mondo". Poems: "Waterfall", "The Suburban Ballad", "Little Café," "The Hours of Doubt, the Hours of Pain" etc. Cesarić is a poet writing about the beauty of life, a poet of the town, love and human sympathy and connecting different generations, an aesthete who grew and perfected his own style.



Dobriša Cesarić (Slavonska Pozega, January 10 1902 - Zagreb , December 18 1980) was a Croatian poet.

Dobriša Cesarić was born in Pozega Slavonska 10th January 1902. He spent his childhood in Osijek, where he completed elementary school and four lower grades of high school. In 1912, in the midst of World War I, he moved to Zagreb where he finished high school and, after graduating in 1920 he enrolled to study law, and a year later philosophy.

He spent a short time working in the Zagreb theatre, followed by many years working as a librarian in the Hygienic Institute. After World War II, he worked as an editor at the publishing company Zora. He died in Zagreb on 18 December 1980.  He was a member of the Yugoslavian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He first appeared in the world of literature as a fourteen-year-old in 1916, with the poem "I ja ljubim”. His first collection of poems, "Lyrics", was published in 1931 and recognised with an award from the Yugoslavian Academy. He collaborated in many literary magazines, published literary reviews, and translated from German, Russian, Italian, Bulgarian and Hungarian. He published several books: Lirika, Spasena svijetla; Izabrani stihovi; Pjesme; Knjiga prepjeva; Osvijetljeni put; Goli časovi; Izabrane pjesme, and released a collection of translations of world poets.

His songs are an expression of the original experience; they do not arise from preformed verbal imitations of fixed stereotyped forms. His songs have a natural flow. And even when, ostensibly, they seem "scrappy", behind them lies a thought, an idea; they are not a sequence of coincidences but rather a sequence of internal thought-hieroglyphs, a sincere outpouring of emotion.

Finally, one more trait ought to be noted of this poet's writing, a trait not only rare but even unique in this region. And that is the occasional but very convincing effort by the poet to revive in this art form a joy which seemed to be suppressed, as if somehow unworthy. It is characteristic that such ideas usually appear in the poet's evening and night motifs - an ambient which sourced some other poets' darkest creations. Many of Cesarić's verses from the darkened urban paysage rise before our eyes like some fluorescent flowers.

And yet among the great Croatian lyricists, Cesarić was probably the least prolific. In just over half a century he wrote no more than about one hundred poems, most of which fit on a single page. It appears that many "tears and words" remained hidden within Cesarić.