Hundred and three years ago, Mehmedalija Mak Dizdar, one of the greatest poets of Bosnia and Herzegovina who marked an entire cultural and historical epoch, was born in Stolac. The Bosniak Cultural Community “Preporod” and the “Mak Dizdar” Foundation decided to start celebrating the birth anniversaries of Mak Dizdar together this year, and on Saturday, a special program was performed in the Sarajevo City Hall, which included the performance of the quartet “Stone Sleeper” by Vlado Milosevic, BH composers, and recitals by actors who took the audience through Mak’s entire poetry.
”Our idea is to do it all over BiH in public, open spaces and to include as many people as possible in those events. The goal is to popularize the poetry and literary work of Mak Dizdar, but also to popularize literature and culture in general because they represent the fundamental values of every society,” said the president of the Bosniak Community of Culture “Preporod” Sanjin Kodric.
Mehmedalija Mak Dizdar, who was born on October 17, 1917, finished elementary school in Stolac and then left to Sarajevo, where he lived until his death on July 14, 1971.
The poet whose works Stone Sleeper and Blue River are among the most significant Bosnian collections of the past century was one of the artists who attempted to create an image of one world that used to exist here, but it no longer does.
Upon arrival to Sarajevo, this poet wrote for the paper Gajret, after which he spent a part of the Second World War as a member of the National Liberation Movement. It all brought him to the position of the editor of the paper Oslobodjenje, a career which he soon replaced with a professional career of a poet and an editorial position in the magazine Life.
Later in his life, he established the Peasant’s Book, a publishing house whose aim was to enlighten the nation, and his publishing house later became National Education.
In the year of his death, Mak Dizdar published the collection of poems Blue River, which included the name like song that made this poet especially famous. This poem was characterized as a “European poem” by the European critic. The second important collection in his artistic opus was certainly the collection Stone Sleeper. In this collection, he strived to wake up the sleeper in people’s thought through the historical vision of a medieval man, the archaic language and the language of epitaphs.
The poet who defined Bosnia with stećaks and the thesis that this country is defiant of sleep, who dreamt about justice and worked for justice, was rewarded by the Sarajevo band Indexi. They recorded a song and then an album titled Blue River, thus additionally supporting the status of Dizdar as an authentic Bosnian poet.