Vasko Popa

Vasko Popa (Author) Charles Simic (Introduction by)
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An original collection of work by the great Serbian poet of the twentieth century.

Vasko Popa is widely recognized as one of the great poets of the twentieth century, a riddling fabulist, whose work, taking its bearings from the songs and folklore of his native his Serbia and from surrealism, has a dark gnomic fatalistic humor and pathos that are like nothing else. Charles Simic, a master of contemporary American poetry, has been translating Popa's work for more than a quarter century. This revised and greatly expanded edition of Simic's Popa is a revelation.

Product Details

New York Review of Books
Publish Date
June 25, 2019
4.5 X 0.4 X 6.9 inches | 0.35 pounds
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About the Author

Vasko Popa (1922-1991) was born in the Banat region of Northern Serbia, then part of Yugoslavia. During World War II, he joined the Communist underground and was imprisoned in a German concentration camp at Bečkerek. After the war, he graduated from Belgrade University and published his first collection, Kora (Bark) in 1953, the first of his eight books. He came to be known as the most famous Yugoslav poet of the 20th century, as well as the most translated.

Charles Simic is a poet, essayist, and translator. He has published some twenty collections of poetry, six books of essays, a memoir, and numerous translations. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2007 Simic was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. His most recent collection is Scribbled in the Dark: Poems (2017).


"Popa's imaginative journey resembles a Universe passing through a Universe. It has been one of the most exciting things in modern poetry, to watch this journey being made." --Ted Hughes

"The symbolist poetry of Mr. Popa, a modernist, was widely hailed as the finest in the Serbian language and an artful mix of folk poetry and surrealism. His language was succinct, often aphoristic and elliptical, and it focused on the specific over the abstract." --The New York Times

"No other Serbian poet sounds like Popa. He was both the product of his time and place and the inventor of his own world." --London Review of Books

"A poet of genuine vision." --Kirkus