Biography of Pavol Janik
Mgr. art. Pavol Janik, PhD., (magister artis et philosophiae doctor) was born in 1956 in Bratislava, where he also studied film and television dramaturgy and scriptwriting at the Drama Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (VSMU). He has worked at the Ministry of Culture (1983-87), in the media and in advertising. He was President of the Slovak Writers' Society (2003-07), Secretary-General of the SWS (1998-2003, 2007-2013) and Editor-in-chief of the literary weekly of the SWS Literarny tyzdennik (2010-2013). He has received a number of awards for his literary and advertising work both in his own country and abroad.
This virtuoso of Slovak literature, Pavol Janik, is a poet, dramatist, prose writer, translator, publicist and copywriter. His literary activities focus mainly on poetry. Even his first book of poems, which appeared a quarter of a century ago, attracted the attention of the leading authorities in Slovak literary circles. He presented himself as a plain-spoken poet with a spontaneous manner of poetic expression and an inclination for irony directed not only at others, but also at himself. This style has become typical of all his work, which in spite of its critical character has also acquired a humorous, even bizarre dimension. His manner of expression is becoming terse to the point of being aphoristic. It is thus perfectly natural that Pavol Janik's literary interests should come to embrace aphorisms founded on a shift of meaning in the form of puns. In his work he is gradually raising some very disturbing questions and pointing to serious problems concerning the further development of humankind, while all the time widening his range of themes and styles. Literary experts liken Janik's poetic virtuosity to that in the work of Miroslav Valek, while in the opinion of the Russian poet, translator and literary critic, Natalia Shvedova, Valek is more profound and Janik more inventive. He has translated in poetic form several collections of poetry and written works of drama with elements of the style of the Theatre of the Absurd. Pavol Janik’s literary works have been published not only in Slovakia, but also in Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, India, Israel, Jordan, Macedonia, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, South Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the United States of America and Venezuela.
Pavol Janik Poems
VIVACE MA NON SOLTANTO COSI
Barefoot you leap from star to star. And each time there's a chime
You come from a scent. A crumpled flower.
The Moment Before Touch
The air grows still. As in an illustrated weekly
The sun smashes our windows. An urgent song reaches us from the street. On the cellophane sky
I admire the smiles of the wax figures and the drunks.
On The Line Man - Woman And Back
You escape from me like gas. With astonishment I watch
The old move in. Slowly and clumsily, not of their own volition
Into The Blue
From morning we tirelessly squander ourselves into the blue, which falls short of the border between water and sky. Into the blue in which the swimming routes of fish cross
Every day I go to work for my wife, Olga,
An Urgent Poem
Ceaselessly you enter my mind like an urgent poem to dispute fixed views on life
Every day I pick up a pen up afraid that it's completely in vain. Above the paperwork clouds of office work loom
By just a point you surpass successful fortune. By just a drop
I stretch out the water in which you are reflected. With a shout to stop
Always when I think of you dawn breaks above Buenos Aires and the Atlantic has the inexplicable color of your eyes.
The Moment Before Touch
The air grows still.
As in an illustrated weekly
I leaf through your eyes.
To hear silence
as it walks in new shoes
and lulls the buzzing bees.
Somebody furiously addresses us with wings.
It's said that you've seen
burning birds tumble from the sky!