Milan Rúfus (1928-2009) was a Slovak poet, essayist, translator, children’s author, and academic. His poetry leans toward a symbolist and post-symbolist lyricism and is tinged with tragedy, echoed by the elegiac tone of his verse. Starting with his first collection Až dozrieme (When We Mature), Rúfus published twenty books of poetry between 1956-2008. He passively opposed the Communist regime by raising the themes of human values, God, Christian morality, human destiny, and of homeland as a space for man’s creativity, labour, and victory over a bitter fate, becoming a kind of national conscience for Slovakia and its people. The most translated Slovak poet into other languages, Rúfus also translated poetry from the Russian, Czech, and Spanish. He was the recipient of countless literary prizes.