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Vladimir Vidrić (April 20, 1875 - September 29, 1909) was a Croatian poet. He is considered one of the major figures of the Croatian secessionist poetry.

Life

Vidrić was born in Zagreb, in an affluent family of Slovenian origin. He was one of the leaders of the group of demonstrators that burned the Hungarian flag on the occasion of the emperor Franz Joseph's visit to Zagreb in 1895. He studied law in Prague, Graz and Vienna. After obtaining his Ph.D. in 1903, he did not pursue an academic career, but became a lawyer.

He started writing poems in high school, but his real literary start was the poem Boni mores, published in Vienac in 1897. He wrote very little before his premature death: around 40 poems, most of which were published by him in the collection entitled simply Pjesme (Poems) in 1907.

He was known for his adventurous life, great intelligence and prodigious memory (he used to spend whole evenings reciting poetry to his amazed friends; he always did admirably well at school) and his affiliation with the controversial progressive political circles.

Vidrić died in obscure circumstances in the mental hospital in the Zagreb suburb of Vrapče.

Poetry

As a rule, his poetic atmospheres develop from a concrete scene. The poet is lost or hidden in a mythological character. His images of a barbaric, classical and mythological world are very personal. Vidrić was an impressionist with a very strong visual imagination.

His best poems - like Jutro (Morning), Pejzaž I, II (Landscape), Adieu, Ex Pannonia, Dva levita (Two Levites) - include some of the best verses ever written in Croatian. Some of his contemporaries, such as Matoš, accused him of technical imperfections, wrong accents in rhymes and raw style. Actually, regarding the structure of his poems, he was a man before his time, since he did not base his rhythm on feet, but on the main accents.

This is how Vidrić was described by the great Croatian literary historian Ivo Frangeš: Vidrić's world feels like a fragment of an ancient vase, where the incomplete nature of the preserved scene is used to strengthen the effect. It is a miniature world, painfully clear, with a miraculous third dimension that goes far beyond our everyday ideas of width and depth.

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