24 / 2006
Ivan Vogrič


The purpose of the contribution is to deepen the knowledge about Ivan Resman (1848-1905), in public less known poet who had a certain role with the affirmation of Slovene national movement in the last decades of the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th centuries. Resman’s life path was not straight-lined; it was influenced by the fact his family was among the first in Slovenia to emigrate organized in the USA; the family left for America at the end of the American Civil war when the poet was still a juvenile. One of the circumstances that later marked him, was constant transferring to different places of work, which kept him from the homeland for several years, and temporarily anchored him in the margin of the then vast Austro-Hungaria.

Of approximately 80 poems of his sole collection Moja deca (1901), some deal with the emigration problematic; significant is the fact that in his early drama creations, he used the pen name Ameriški.
In Slovene space, Resman was active mainly in places along the South Rail where he served as a railway clerk. He was engaged in the animated societies’ life of the late 19th century by performing functions, for example in Jurčič-Tomšič’s institution within the Slovenska matica. He supported financially societies and pupils, for example Dragotin Kette, and at the same time wrote contributions for several Slovene newspapers and magazines: Slovenski narod, Stritar’s Zvon, Ljubljanski zvon, the Celovec Slovenec, Bleiweis’s Novice, the Trieste Edinost, Domovina, Slovan, etc. He cooperated with renowned cultural workers and politicians of that period, for example Josip Jurčič, Anton Aškerc, Lovro Toman, Janez Bleiweis, Janko Kersnik, Henrik Costa, etc.
Idealism and a romantic relation to the world winnow from Resman’s poetry. His poems are simple and besides with love elements impregnated mainly with patriotic themes, in accordance with his many years’ activity in national defence field. However, his poems are not of high artistic level. Much more than as poet, Resman is known for his merits for spreading Slovene literary language; even more as a writer of texts for songs that are still the repertoire of Slovene choir singing. His texts were set to music by significant Slovene composers of that period, to begin with Emil Adamič, Anton Foerster, Anton Schwab, Fran Gerbič, and others.
Thus, it is not a coincidence Resman is buried at Navje in Ljubljana, at the same place much more renowned Slovene litterateurs rest. At his death, main Slovene newspapers and literary magazines remembered him; among others Simon Gregorčič as well.