Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

O poezi české


Origin of the work:
  1621 Fulnek

  1955 in: Slezský sborník 53, pp516-520

1974 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VII

1983 Prague, J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 4



The Humanist opinion that the apex of the poetry was achieved in the Greek and Roman metric poesy of Antiquity was also held by Comenius, and it was in this spirit that he composed his essay O poezi české (On Czech Poetry). This is a theoretical treatise on metrical prosody in Czech poetry, in which Comenius shows that after Greek and Latin Czech is the most suitable language for the creation of metrically perfect verse which comes closest to the Antique model.

Comenius first sets out what poesy is, and how it originated, and in what manner verses are differentiated by rhyme and metre. Comenius prefers not rhyme, used in folk poems and songs, but rather metrical prosody, which he regards as being of greater artistic value and perfection. He explains that this is based on the quantity (length and shortness) of syllables, what a foot is, what types are most commonly used, and with example how appealing Czech quantitative verse can be. Czech poets could easily refine and elevate the Czech language, as the preconditions for doing so are good. Czech is more fitted to metric poetry than to rhymed, and is rich in long, short and medium syllables, which cannot be said of other languages – German, French and Italian.

Comenius wishes to convince the reader of the superiority of the Czech language and Czech poetry, which with its carefully cultivated metric prosody and artistic creativity can attain world repute.


For further study, see also:

J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 4. Prague 1983, pp164-165

Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VII. Prague 1974, pp14-17

Jan Kumpera, J. A. Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp271-272




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