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Roll Call of Mirrors
Selected Poems of Ivan V. Lalic
Ivan V. Lalic; Charles Simic, trans.; Charles Simic, intro.

Wesleyan Poetry in Translation

1988 • 80 pp. 5 1/2 x 8"
Poetry / Literary Criticism - Slavic

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-1152-2

Trans. from the Serbian

A postwar Serbian poet captures the spirit of the classical in his newly translated book of poems.

Ivan V. Lalic is one of the most important Serbian poets of the postwar generation. In Roll Call of Mirrors the translator Charles Simic, a native Yugoslavian, captures these poems in Lalic’s own idiom, He retains their spare beauty, from the lyrical intensity of the early poems – by a poet “destined to burn” – to his later love of sonnets, to his most recent =, more meditative work on “what geometry dreams,” and on the art of the poet (standing “before the mirror, fearless/ Of the returning image”).

Although Lalic is part of a generation of Yugoslavian poets considered modernist, the spirit of his poetry is classical, calling up Roman triumphal arches, Orpheus descending into Hades, Lazarus rising from the tomb, and Byzantine warriors with their breastplates of bronze. Byzantium is, for Lalic, both the historical city, spiritual and also the mythical home from which we all have been exiled. According to Simic, in Lalic’s poetry “the historical and the mythical are in dialogue.” Like the icon or the fresco, his poems begin with metaphors that, through meditation, reflect and give meaning to identity.

Reviews / Endorsements

“A rare fusion of the metaphoric richness of surrealism and the timeless world of classical Greece and Byzantium . . . It is time Lalic was given his rightful place among contemporary masters”—Michael Cuddihy

IVAN V. LALIC was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1931. Since 1955 he has published eleven collections of poetry; numerous books of translations of classic and contemporary English, French, and German poetry; a book of literary essays; and a verse drama. Lalic lives in Belgrade, where he works as a chief editor at the Nolit publishing house.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:53:39 -0500