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The page of Haugová, Mila, English Reception

Image of Haugová, Mila
Haugová, Mila


Mila Haugová is one of the outstanding talents in the Slovak wo­men’s poetry. At first she was a poet of brief. almost seismographic recordings of everydayness, reflecting contacts between the woman-subject and partner, tragic moments in other people's lives. focusing on fragile and eventually broken relationships. Everyday themes and anti-war commitment gradually gave way to the myth of emotion complemented by artistic gesture. Her creative work shows profound interest in archetypal relations within human con­sciousness grasping all the fundamental meanings of the world. In her poems, the focus is on the essence of expression, on naming things with precision and placing them carefully to create the final shape. Her poetic statement built on opposing semantic parallels tends to be ambiguous in its perception of contradictory experien­ce of woman, man and the human race through erotic love. The cultural consciousness of contemporary man is enhanced by nume­rous references to Slovak and world literary and artistic context. Eventually Haugova became a poet of sophisticated form and mo­ved women's poetry towards spirituality without abandoning out­spoken expression of feelings.

Her poems have a quality of pulling off the masks. They peel off the mask that has captured the face at all times, in all its appearances. For me this is the only explanation why the semanticising gesture of her poem is in “the passion for fragment” as opposed to “the pas­sion for system”. All her poems are one to me - a woman crying over her dead lover, expressing transformations of bodily and spiri­tual love, the physical and metaphysical (...) - thus creating one of the original “forms of songs” and resisting by sheer eroticism the growing violence and necrophilia of this ending century. (
Milan Hamada)

One line by Villa Haugová still echoes in my mind: “Stepping over a dead man the woman goes on to seek love.” Her poetry is both Penelopean and Odyssean. It is Penelopean because it is waiting within its own world, connecting the first alpha-female with the last woman in herself - her daughter. And Odyssean because it underta­kes a journey that is commanded by emotion. Beloved person be­ing the landscape, language being the ship and the gift of conne­ction representing the ultimate miracle. However, her attempt to record the epos of love completely paradoxically gives the impres­sion of being fragmentary. In her palimpsest Haugová conveys the same message: Love each other, there is nothing more. Love alone will help you to overcome all obstacles. (Dana Podracká)
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