Marking of 96th Anniversary of Death of famous Poet Aleksa Santic


On 2 February in Mostar, Serb Educational and Cultural Society ”Prosvjeta” organized the marking of the 96th anniversary of death of famous Mostar poet Aleksa Santic.

As a part of the marking of his death, flowers were laid at the mausoleum of Osman Dikic and also on graves of Aleksa Santic at Bjelusine.

Šantić was a prolific poet and writer. He wrote almost 800 poems, seven theatrical plays and some prose. Many of the writings were of high quality and aimed to criticize the Establishment or advocate diverse social and cultural issues. He was strongly influenced by Heinrich Heine, whose works he translated. His friends and peers in the field of culture were Svetozar Ćorović, Jovan Dučić and Milan Rakić. One of his sisters, Radojka (Persa) married Svetozar Ćorović.

His poetry is indeed in the spirit of some later times, raw and contemporary, for which he was criticized, and many claimed that his poetry lacks beauty and nuances, for which he wrote, his most famous poem ‘Emina’ which later turned into sevdalinka and now it is a part of Bosnian cultural heritage.

When, relaxed, I fall asleep,
When my soul calm is deep,
In my heart whispers creep:
“Where are you, where are you?”

His poem ‘Ostajte ovdje’ (Remain Here) was one of the most acclaimed patriotic song of his time, urging a wave of emigrants from his beloved Herzegovina to stay in the land of their forefathers, for which Miloš Crnjanski said that at time Šantić’s patriotic poetry was the only worth reading.

Poetically he was influenced, mostly by the poets Jovan Jovanović Zmaj, Vojislav Ilić and Heinrich Heine, whom he was translating. The greatest poetic maturity Šantić reached between 1905 and 1910, when he wrote his best poems. Šantić’s poetry is full of emotion, sadness and pain of love and defiance to social and national disempowerment. His muse is at the crossroads of love and patriotism, beloved ideal, and suffering people.

When the dawn glows red
In the shimmer of jewels clad,
My soul stirs a song in bed:
“Where are you, where are you?”

The topics and images of his poems ranged from strong emotions of social injustices of his time to nostalgic love. His poems about Mostar and the river Neretva are considered particularly beautiful.

One of the greatest Croatian poets Tin Ujević said for Šantić’s poetry: ‘ It is a poetry where man feels that he’s the part of the land and people and the people and land are part of his wide soul; real and honest poetry.’

When great rejoicing is on high
And gloom prepares a heavy sigh,
My love begins to sing the rhyme:
”Where are you, where are you?”

Šantić died of tuberculosis in 1924 in Mostar, and he is still considered one of the greatest poets of the South Slavic literature.


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