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Personalities: Samo Chalupka (1812 – 1883) Issue number
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Samo Chalupka belongs to the most important Slovak poets. He was a leading representative of literary romanticism. He belonged to the earliest members of Štúr’s generation of personalities, who supported Ľudovít Štúr during the birth of modern Slovak literature as well as modern Slovak national ideology. He was born on 27. February 1812 in Horná Lehota near Banská Bystrica in the family of an Evangelic pastor. After studying at several secondary grammar schools, he started studying in the Evangelic lyceum in Bratislava in 1827 and completed his theological studies in 1833 in Vienna. He served as an Evangelic chaplain in Chyžné and a pastor first in Jelšavská Teplica and later, from 1840 in his native village Horná Lehota.  Between 1830 and 1831, he participated as a volunteer in the Polish uprising against the oppression of Czarist Russia. He was seriously wounded in the fights and had problems with his wounds until the end of his life.
Poetic work of Samo Chalupka is not prolific, but it is of great importance. He began writing poems during his studies at the Evangelic Lyceum in Bratislava in classicist prosody in biblical Czech. As the first Slovak poet, he began to write poems using the prosody of Slovak folk songs, which prompted him to leave the biblical Czech and favour Štúr’s spelling reform of the Slovak language. His fundamental poetic works originated in the 30’s, 40’s and 60’s of the 19th century and were published as a set in the collection called “Spevy” (Singing) in 1868. Since then, his poetic works were published in several other editions and belong to the basic popular poetic fund of Slovakia. When it comes to themes, Chalupka draws mainly from the Slovak history, from the tradition of Jánošík, which he understands as a fight for freedom and social justice, from fights against the Ottoman Turks, from the nation's struggle for freedom and equality. His heroes are people faithful to the nation, to the ideas of liberty, freedom, equality and justice for which they are willing to sacrifice even their own lives. The most famous poem of Samo Chalupka called “Mor ho” became a cult, its melodies always occurred at the time of the escalated fight of the Slovaks for national and social liberation, for freedom, equality and democracy (World War I and II, the Slovak National Uprising in 1968 and 1989 to 1993). He belongs to those Slovak poets whose work is well known in all classes of the Slovak population.
                                                                                                                        Anton Hrnko


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