Ivan Diviš

A poem written briefly before his death

Illustration: Michaela Kukovičová

Facts –
You resemble flaking foliated mica
Even though I use the finest scalpel.
Each segment flies away to nowhere, i.e. to God.

I believed I was sent to the world,
To crush you with a single blow of an absolute poem –
But I’ve failed.

April 7, 1999


In his poems, essays and diaries, Czech poet Ivan Diviš reflected on the events he encountered as well as on great historical developments. The ability to confront the poet’s inner world made his poetry into highly personal and emotional, or even expressively distinctive testimony. Diviš’s concept of the absolute was entirely unique but never unambiguous, which could have also been influenced by his conversion to Catholicism in the 1960s.