Born in 1994 in Hlohovec, Štrpka is one of the most outstanding modern Slovakian poets. He used to belong to the Osamelí bežci (Lonely Runners) poetic group, the members of which debuted in the end of the sixties of the last century. He published more than a dozen of poetry volumes, including “Tristan tára” (Tristan is Drivelling On) (1971), “Teraz a iné ostrovy” (Now and Other Islands) (1881), “Všetko je v škrupine” (Everything Is in the Shell) (1989), “Majster Mu a ženské hlasy” (Master Mu and Female Voices) (1997). Štrpka is also a prose-writer, an essayist, a translator of Spanish and Portuguese literature, as well as the editor in chief for the “Romboid” literary monthly.
A Silent Hand. Ten Elegies
It is a multi-part poetic composition that continues the great elegy tradition in the European poetry. At the same time, it is a heterogenic composition when considering its type - a work of ambiguous genre. Being a Central European realization of the flow poetry, it refers to the works of modernist giants (R. M. Rilke, F. Nietzsche, E. Pound and T. S. Eliot) though its literary and philosophical foundations are deeper (F. Hölderlin, G. Hegel) and reach as far as the ancient sources of Mediterranean culture. What makes the main subject of Ivan Štrpka’s elegies is co-existence of the visible and the invisible in our lives, physical and metaphysical forces, and mostly actions of light. The volume entitled “Tichá ruka. Desať elégií.” was recognized in Slovakia as the most important poetry book of the last decade.