Antun Branko Šimić (18 November 1898 – 2 May 1925) was an expressionist poet from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He was born in Drinovci near Grude on 18 November 1898, in the family of Vida and Martin Šimić. He attended primary school in his native village, and then the first three forms of the Franciscan classical grammar school in Široki Brijeg. He decided to change school in the fourth form and went to Mostar and afterwards to Vinkovci. His unruly spirit made him change his surroundings again and so he continued his education in Zagreb, in the upper town grammar school.

In 1917, he started the journal for art and culture, Vijavica (Whirlwind), which forced him to leave school. This is when he lost his parents’ support and it also meant a hard life overpowered by many illnesses. After four issues of Vijavica, taking the example of German journal Der Sturm, he also launched another journal, Juriš (Attack), which likewise had a short life of three issues only. He went on writing poems, literary and art critiques and also translating. He often had to live in straitened circumstances which caused many illnesses, so he went back to Drinovci and made up with his father.

Between 1918 and 1919, he immersed himself into writing poems whilst staying in a hamlet of Drinovci, Dubrava Majići, in a cottage where his mother grew up. Some of his first expressionist works were created here, most notably Ja pjevam (I Sing), Povratak (The Return) and Ljubav (Love).

When he returned to Zagreb he launched his third journal, Književnik (Writer). At the Faculty of Philosophy he met Tatjana Marinić to whom he dedicated his one and only collection, Preobraženja (Metamorphoses) in 1920. He contracted tuberculosis and died on 2 May 1925 in a hospital in Zagreb.

Source: Wikipedia, 2018

Antun Branko Šimić

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