In memory of Dragutin Tadijanović
Precisely five years ago, on 27 June 2007, the verses of our dear Tadija fell silent and he quietly left us disappearing among the heavenly fields of gold.
Dragutin Tadijanović, the most long-lived Croatian poet who had been writing his ode to the Croatian poetry and Croatian culture for some 90 years left us numerous poems, records and recollections which will certainly live with many future generations.
Tadija, as he was called by everyone who loved him dearly, was the most popular Croatian poet who weaved his entire life into his works, so it is no wonder that already during his life not only were there published complete, selected and bibliophile editions of his works and he received all possible prizes and recognitions, but he also started getting his busts, schools which were named after him, the star on the Croatian walk of fame in Opatija, as well as his memorial building in Slavonski Brod, which preserves the memory of the life and work of this great man, while the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts established a special award bearing his name.
Dragutin Tadijanović was born on 4 November 1905 in Rastušje near Slavonski Brod. He went to primary school in Podvinje, and later to secondary school in Slavonski Brod, where he received good classical education. In a way, his life as an artist began in 1920 when he lived in a monastery in Brod and there started writing poems. He continued his education and his life as an artist in Zagreb where he first enrolled in the School of Agronomy and Forestry but soon transferred and became a student at the Faculty of Philosophy where he took history of South Slavic literature and philosophy and graduated in 1937. For a number of years he was the literary editor at the Croatian Publishing Institute and in the journal Zora. In 1953 he founded the Institute of Croatian Language at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, of which he was the Director until 1973. He was a regular member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the President of the Croatian Writers’ Association. He prepared several anthologies, among which were Hrvatska moderna lirika (1933), Novija hrvatska poezija (1952), Antologija hrvatskih pjesama u prozi (1958) and others. His poetry collections have been translated into several foreign languages, from Esperanto to Hindi and Chinese.
During his life he published over 500 poems in some 40 collections, of which the most well-known are Sunce nad oranicama, Pepeo srca, Dani djetinjstva, Tuga zemlje, Pjesme, Blagdan žetve, Srebrne svirale, Prsten, Kruh svagdanji, More u meni, Dom tajnovitosti, Čarolije and many other works of this great writer.
In his poetical works Tadijanović created a special lyrical world which represented a reflection of himself and thus wrote an autobiography in verses of its own kind. His poetical preoccupations cover a wide range of lyrical themes, extending from the boyish, naive obsessions present in the descriptions of the landscape of his native Rastušje, over nostalgic recollections of childhood and youth, to the tragic conflict between the countryside and urban environment. The inspiration and freshness present in his poetry give evidence of a youthful energy and the joy of life which Tadijanović felt and radiated to the very end of his long life. His poetical expression is unique; by freeing his poetry of decorative elements and basing it on free verse, Tadijanović managed to create poems of an outstanding structure, strong rhythm and musical quality.
Dragutin Tadijanović is yet another person whose works have elevated and enriched our literature, adding to it specific artistic features.
Dragutin Tadijanović passed away in Zagreb on 27 June 2007.