February 8 is Prešeren Day in Slovenia marking the death of its greatest literary figure, France Prešeren and celebrating Slovene culture.
It was established in 1945 to raise the cultural consciousness and the self-confidence of the Slovene nation and declared a work-free day in 1991. On February 7, the eve of the holiday, the Prešeren Awards, the highest Slovenian recognition for cultural achievements, are conferred.
Photographer Stojan Kerbler, and ballet dancer and choreographer Milko Šparemblek have been declared the winners of this year’s Prešeren Prizes, Slovenia’s top accolades for lifetime accomplishments in the arts. Total Slovenian News.
He who from fate receives but blow on blow,
Who, like myself in her disfavour stands,
Although he had a hundred mighty hands,
Would vainly strive for riches here below.
His paths are strewn with thorns where’er he go;
And where he looks for home there soon expands
A sea of woes: against its stormy strands
Waves roll and splash in unremitting flow.
Pursued and tossed about by Care, by Need,
He finds no peace from worries on his road,
Though to the farthest place his search may lead.
And only in the quiet, cold abode,
Which after weary life’s span is decreed,
Will death relieve him of his toilsome load.
Translated by Janko Larvin
This portrait of France Prešeren was executed by Ivan Grohar, circa 1900.
JPEG file from Pesnikova galerija, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=327804