Tin Ujević

Jul 5, 1891 - Nov 12, 1955(64)

What's a club for a poet?

According to the story, they used to break into cafes with white flowers on their suits and clubs on their shoulders...

From his high school days, the great Croatian poet Tin Ujević was an ardent rightist. Later, after breaking up with Matoš and being exiled to Paris, he turned to Yugoslav unitarism. Kovačić, Mitrinović and he founded the secret association OM. According to the story, they used to break into cafes with white flowers on their suits and clubs on their shoulders...

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In cafes, they would frighten and seduce guests by saying some kind of sentences that would always end with OM. The reason and meaning of this engagement was never revealed, and they were soon politically persecuted. Ujević, exiled for many months from Croatia, goes to Belgrade. At that time, he was extremely politically active, while his literary work stagnated.

He arrived in Belgrade alone, and a Dalmatian lent him money for the ticket. There he gave important political speeches about the unification of Serbia and Croatia. In 1913, he founded the newspaper "Uježdinje" in which he spread his ideas about Serbian-Croatian unification. At that time, he lived on a scholarship from the Serbian government, which amounted to one hundred dinars.

It was said that, two years before the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand, Gavrilo Princip, then still a high school student, met with Ujević and Kovačić in the Belgrade Hotel Moskva. However, Princip denied this at the trial.

Ujević goes to Zagreb again, where he is arrested and where he admits his involvement in political events. He was exiled from the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia and went to Split. He continues his political activities there. He was arrested again when crossing the border illegally - he wanted to go to Zagreb with someone else's documents. By going to prison, he becomes a political star in Dalmatia, and his like-minded people try to portray him as a martyr. After his release, he was arrested and imprisoned several more times until he finally went to Paris.

(Jasen Boko: Tin Ujević – biography: thirty years of travel, 2017)

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