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Poet Ciril Zlobec dies, aged 93

Ljubljana, 24 August - Ciril Zlobec, one of the most celebrated Slovenian poets, has died at the age of 93, Radio Slovenija reported on Friday. He was the last of the prominent quartet of poets that published a joint collection of poems called "Pesmi štirih" (Four Poets).

Ciril Zlobec, one of Slovenia's foremost poets.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ciril Zlobec, one of Slovenia's foremost poets.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Zlobec along with Tone Pavček, Janez Menart and Ciril Zlobec, published the collection in 1953 to mark a shift from collectivism to intimism in Slovenian 20th century poetry.

The collection also marks the beginning of contemporary Slovenian literature and its authors have always held a special place among Slovenian readers.

Zlobec was born on 4 July 1925 in Ponikve near Sežana, western Slovenia. In 1941, under Italian occupation, he was expelled from secondary school for writing poetry in Slovenian. Apart from his artistic work, he has been active in various areas of social life.

He was often critical of those in power, even in the previous regime, and was also active in politics. He was a deputy president of the Socialist Alliance of Working People of Yugoslavia and a member of the Slovenian Presidency between 1990 and 1992.

He wrote over 200 love poems and the main inspiration for his poetry was always love. His poetry has been recognised as a rare example of poetry in central Europe that explores love in its many segments, including playful love, passionate love and fatherly love.

Zlobec received many prestigious awards for his work, including the top national accolade for artistic achievement, the Prešeren Prize, in 1982 and the Župančič Award for literature in 1978.

He became a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) in 1985.

Zlobec wrote some 30 poetry collections, while his body of work, which also includes prose, essays and translations, numbers 115 titles.

Zlobec outlived both of his children, a son and a daughter. He was survived by his wife and muse, Veronika Zlobec.

© STA, 2018