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  • narozen 13.2.1953 v Karlových Varech
  • od 1964 žije v Praze
  • 1971-76 FFUK (knihovnictví a věd. informace)
  • 1976-77 vojna
  • 1983-88 FAMU (scenáristika a dramaturgie)
  • od 1984 ženatý (2 dcery, Viktorie a Antonie)
  • kontakt: www.dedecek.cz

Jiří Dědeček was born in Karlovy Vary in 1953. He is songwriter, poet and translator. He studied Library Sciences at Charles University (1975) and Screenplay and Dramaturgy at FAMU Film University (1985) in Prague. Jiří Dědeček is President of the Czech Center of International P.E.N. since 2006. His most known works are: Měsíc nad sídlištěm/The Moon over the Housing Estatel (1987, Středočeské nakl. a Knihkupectvi), Písničky/Songs (1992, Konvoj), Reprezentant lůzy/Populace Representative (1994, Orbis), Bát se a krást/Fear and Steal (2005, Galen). His poetry is based on a exceptionally rich vocabulary of the Czech language, full of wordplays on words and allegory. His writings are in all the schoolbooks and his work in often a subject of academical dissertations. President of the Czech Center of the P.E.N. International, in 2012 he was elected as a member of the Board of the WAAC.


The whole house silent as the grave
Just the heater, ticking brave
Everybody should be told
This is a house –
the grave is cold

Mum’s not in
More fool me
It took me quite an age
To see

I ring like mad
Try every key
Mum’s not in
Gone out, you see

Strange, it seems
Well, bugger me!
Mum’s not in
Nor Dad, I see

I bust the door –
It is her house
The bloody neighbours
can kiss my arse

Mum’s not in
More fool me
It took me quite an age
To see

I did forget
Of course I did
Mum’s not in
Because she’s dead


Airships, through the sky they plough
Shedding plaster as they go
You wade naked through the flow
The sweet ring of your hooves

The aeronauts, they wave to us
Passing opera glasses, friendly
Your breasts make merry above the surface
like naughty kittens

A lustful faun aims his pipes at us
Wings whirring in the wind
Soon the vultures will swoop
For all who lie motionless

Suddenly, though, the wind it wails
A werewolf zooms past
The rose leaves from your loins
the winds scatter to the clouds

We wrote a composition
one Monday long ago
What we pupils want to be
when we’re up and grown.

As it goes, so say the boys
we’ll all be doctors,
yes, stuntmen and sailors;
we’ll all be milkmen and bakers.

I’m not like those boys,
you won’t mind I’m sure.
I want to be all the hippos
in a field of azure.

But folk came who
took me for a fool
while using sundry measuring tools.
And so they thought, they said, at least
that I would soon become the beasts
if nurse dressed me on the stool.

Their coats snow-white
remind me quite
of all the hippos in a field of azure.
All the hippos, drifting white,
weaving through the sky,
which I tend to see when bored.

As it goes, so say the boys,
we’ll all be statesmen,
yes, astronauts, postmen;
we’ll all be drivers and waiters.

I’m not like those boys,
you won’t mind I’m sure.
I want to be all the hippos
in a field of azure.

Too late to trust in Santa Claus
’cause now we’re over twenty.
Life’s not a book, a cause for pause,
whose pages turn a-plenty.

Too late to telephone the shrinks
if stress leaves much to chance.
Come what may, so Mary thinks,
her father still looks on askance.

We rail against puberty’s cage
Youth forsaken, to come old age
But still we feel like singing
as we gallop hand in hand

In the tram we read the Bard,
our feelings vent full voice;
while decrepitude, its advance guard
badgers us with menace.

Don’t set ourselves unreasonable goals,
don’t want to set the world alight.
Just want at last our time to come,
play Hamlet’s role with all our might.

Though I’m out of notes and coins,
and so have nowt to drink,
Heaven says I’m quite a boy,
at least that what I think.

Heaven says I’m quite a boy,
they’re minding me a seat.
They’ll keep me there in quite some style,
so says my parish priest.

Heaven says I’m quite a boy,
the Good Lord’s on my side.
When the folk all say their prayers,
I’ll sing the blues and play slide.

Heaven says I’m quite a boy,
though I drink the people’s blood.
Good God, how they hate a song
which is good.

The redskin is leaving for good.
The graves are opening,
the world’s returning to normal
and he’s stopping production.

We can read about it in magazines
at least twice day:
the redskin is leaving for good,
he’s giving back what he took.

The redskin is leaving for good,
of this there is no doubt.
Even the rat in the sewer
is wearing the tricolour.

Wherever the eye should turn,
a fresh wind blows.
Even the pig in its sty
calls us his lord.

Student, this is your velvet revolution! You must never,
I repeat never, let anyone take it away from you! You have sowed yourself,
you have reaped yourself; it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff!
Indeed, the time to thresh has come! A smack in the gob
with a wet cloth!!! But it’s a cloth of velvet! But, please God, no violence …

The redskin is leaving for good.
My God, is this brutal!
He’d like to go slowly
but he has to go briskly.

Let’s just forget the velvet,
ladies and gentlemen.
Either we wipe the floor with them
or they wipe the floor with us!

The redskin is leaving for good.
He’s not laughing any more.
He’s making such a racket,
you would think he was being hanged.

No one is hanging him, though:
all he has to look forward to is work,
a modest diet, shelter,
or a reservation.

According to Helmut
life is like
dragging dead deer
through the blackthorns.
One after another
they get and heavier and heavier
and keep getting their awkward heads
stuck in the tangle of the undergrowth.

Hey! You! Friends!
On that side!
Do you know
what the norm is?

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