View Gallery

Farewell and a Handkerchief – Poems from the Road

Published Date:

Available in


5.5 x 8.5


Farewell and a Handkerchief—Poems from the Road is a collection that reflects on the month-long travels of Czech poet Vítězslav Nezval through Vienna, Paris, southern France, and Italy. During this journey, on May 9, 1933, Nezval had a chance encounter with two of the surrealist movement’s most influential poets—André Breton and Paul Éluard—while sitting at the Cardinal Café on the Grands Boulevards in Paris, a meeting that proved transformative. After returning home, Nezval helped found the Czech Surrealist Group, along with Karel Teige, Jindřich Stýrský, and Toyen. It became the only official group of its kind outside of France.  


Nezval is a modern-day savage who tramples upon the strict canons of truth and beauty. His poetry offers a star the same privileges of beauty as it would a molding apple left behind on a staircase.

                                                                       – Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being


[In Farewell and a Handkerchief] Nezval’s poetic mind creates an evocative imagery of cities, countries, people, social reality of the rich and the poor, the good and the bad (approaching Nazism) in a stream of harmonic rhyming. 

– Karen von Kuneš, Yale University


Nezval was one of the great masters of true poetry of the twentieth century. He was great like Apollinaire, Yesenin, Mayakovsky and Éluard.

– Nazim Hikmet, Turkish poet, author of Life’s Good Brother


Vítězslav Nezval was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth-century avant-garde. He was a leading founder of the Czech movement Devětsil (Nine Forces), a group that included individuals such as Nobel laureate Jaroslav Seifert, which evolved into the Czech Surrealist Group. He was born in 1900 in Biskoupky, a small town in southern Moravia. His works in English include The Absolute Gravedigger (Twisted Spoon Press, 2016), Prague with Fingers of Rain (Bloodaxe Books Ltd., 2009), Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Twisted Spoon Press, 2005), and Antilyrik and Other Poems (Green Integer, 2001). He died in 1958.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Related Products