Exactly 99 years ago, one of the greatest BiH poets of all times was born in Stolac. He marked one entire cultural-historical era of the country. His name is Mehmedalija Mak Dizdar, “the poet of stećaks”, as he was often called.
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.