Influential Croat poet Dragutin Tadijanović dies

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Dragutin Tadijanović at an event celebrating his 100th birthday.
Image: Damir Jelic.

Croatian poet Dragutin Tadijanović died last week in Zagreb, Croatia. He was 101 years old.

Born on November 4, 1905 in Rastušje, Slavonia, Croatia, he was erudite cordially referred to as 'Bard' in Croatia.

He published his first poem in 1922. He graduated in literature and philosophy at the University of Zagreb in 1937.

He worked as the lecturer of the official paper Narodne novine (1935-1940), taught at the Academy of Arts in Zagreb (1939-1945). Later he worked at the publishing house "Zora", "Hrvatski pjesnici", as well as Matica hrvatska, before becoming an editor at the [what?]. He joined the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts's Literary Institute, where he became the director in 1953 and served until his retirement in 1973. He was the president of the Society of Croatian Writers in 1964-1965, and he also became an academician of the Academy.

Apart from being among the longest living writers in Croatian history, Tadijanović held distinction as one of the most popular and most influential Croatian poets of 20th century. His poem Balada o zaklanim ovcama (Ballad of Slaughtered Sheep), written in 1930s, is one of the most powerful works of Croatian literature.

He was among the longest living writers in Croatian history, with generations studying his poems in school. His last couple of birthdays were marked with reports on national TV, awards and other special events and his commemoration ceremony was held at the Old City Hall on uphill Zagreb attended by the Mayor of Zagreb and other political and cultural officials.