tr Simic ...
|Title||:||Horse Has Six Legs: Contemporary Serbian Poetry|
|Number of Pages||:||224 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Horse Has Six Legs: Contemporary Serbian Poetry Reviews
Charles Simic, ed., The Horse Has Six Legs: An Anthology of Serbian Poetry (Graywolf, 1992)This is one of the better anthologies of verse I've come across in quite a while. Simic, a native Serbian himself, has an obvious love for his subject and, one would assume, a greater knowledge of history and cultural context than a translator going in fresh with this material. As any translator worth his salt will tell you, these qualities are the difference between a translation with falls flat and one which breathes; word choice is everything.The "name" here (to Western audiences, anyway) is Milorad Pavic, whose novel The Dictionary of the Khazars was a literary sensation in the late eighties, translated into many languages and finding the bestseller lists of a number of western countries. But once you've been drawn by the name, linger over the rest of the work here. The whole collection shines with a sophisticated grasp of the surrealist ethic which much of modern American poetry is lacking; many of the poets here, such as Vasco Popa and Ivan Lalic, would stand at the same level of achievement as Eshleman, Willis, or Stroffolino on the short shelf of sacred books, where modern surrealism is concerned.If there is a quibble to be had with the book, it's that it's simply too short. Simic does explain this in his foreword (he only included the translations he's most satisfied with as a poet as well as a translator). Thus, we have to be happy with what we have and hope he releases a volume 2 some time in the future. *** ½
I have a little broom closet in my heart for Eastern European poetry that’s lit by a bare bulb, and the Serbians occupy the top shelf. This anthology is highly recommended: the poems are often dark, and more image- than language-driven, full of icons and other religious references, animal totems, candles for the deceased, graveyards, dead leaves. It’s vivid poetry, and surrealistic. There’s humor, too, but it’s not light-hearted.The two luminaries here are Vasko Popa and Novica Tadic. Charles Simic, who edited and translated the anthology, offers a generous selection of their work. Popa is a spinner of his own weird mythologies, and his series about the enigmatic, at times vaginal Little Box that “holds the whole world” is some of the best poetry I’ve ever read. You can read all the Little Box poems included in this anthology here: http://pith.net/pith/the-little-box-s.... Novica Tadic is another great poet, darker and meaner and worth the while. His 20 poems are a high point of the book. (No disrespect, get the anthology if you like rich, potent poetry that isn’t about the beauty of nature, social inequality or surviving a sad romance, but I’d suggest you go for the separate collections of these poets put out by the Field Translation Series: Homage to the Lame Wolf: Selected Poems and Night Mail: Selected Poems,both translated by Simic.)I also enjoyed the poems by Milorad Pavic, whose name I recognized. He wrote the novel The Dictionary of the Khazars, which I tried and failed to finish as a teenager. His “Holy Mass for Relja Krilatica” is one of the best pieces in this book, in my opinion. Aside from Radmila Lazic, who’s been translated by Simic in a separate collection, I’d never encountered any of these poets. Here’s a poem by Aleksandar Ristovic:Dead LeavesDanton is waiting to diebut the day won’t break.His vest is full of liceand he has rain in his boots.On his face there are already signsof his exceptional destiny.He watches me from a great distancewalk under the treesand gather dead leaveswith a long stick ending in a spike.
This collection of poems from the Serbian, all translated by Charles Simic, provides a great introduction to the poetry of Serbia since, roughly, modernism to the present. Simic also provides several classical, anonymous lyrics that frame the beginnings of Serbian poetry quite nicely. If there is one thing that can be said across the board about these poets, and perhaps it is truly a comment on Simic as translator, but even in the divergence of styles throughout this anthology, a grim optimism crops up again and again. This puts much American melodrama into perspective. A favorite:Branko Miljkovic, "Sea Without Poets"You wait for a right momentto attune yourself to wordsbut there is no such poetnor a word fully freeO bitter and blind seain love with shipwreck
A fantastic anthology, with a sweeping scope. Would have been five stars but for the smattering of typos, egregious enough when they occurred to take me out of the reading, which was unfortunate. But as far as having an idea of what Serbian poetry has done over the hundred years or so, it seems to me that this is a hugely worthwhile read.
Uneven as anthologies often are, but Popa and Tadic are my dawgs.
891.8215 H817 1992
I would love this. Pshw. I /would./