Magazine article World Literature Today

Izabrane Pesme

Magazine article World Literature Today

Izabrane Pesme

Article excerpt

Vasa Mihailovic. Izabrane Pesme. Belgrade. Tanesi. 2013. isbn 9788681567708

With 131 mostly prose poems in six named sections, we get a clear picture of the Serbian American poet Vasa Mihailovic (now eighty-eight years of age), who emigrated to the United States after being a prisoner of war in Italy and Germany during World War II. He taught Slavic literature at UNC Chapel Hill for many years before he retired. He has published eleven books of prose poetry, two of haiku poetry, four collections of short stories, translations of ex-Yugoslavian authors, several anthologies, a memoir, and numerous reviews for World Literature Today.

The first section, "Frescoes Written by Life," is filled with observations about Serbian monasteries, as in "Ravanica," where children abandoned by their parents are taken care of by nuns, or in "Bogorodica Ljeviska," where the visitors "take offa piece of its wall because they believe in its healing for women who cannot get pregnant." The second section, "Ave Patria," returns to Serbian history and events from the perspective of an emigrant who dreams of returning to his idealized homeland but, when he does, cannot find anyone to communicate with and returns to the US disappointed. …

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