The Horse Has Six Legs
An Anthology of Serbian Poetry
Publication Date: April 27, 2010
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THE UPDATED AND EXPANDED EDITION OF THIS VITAL ANTHOLOGY, WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY EDITOR AND TRANSLATOR CHARLES SIMIC
When The Horse Has Six Legs was first published in 1992, as war and hatred tore through the Balkans, this anthology of Serbian poetry became a landmark for some of the most compelling poetry in the contemporary world. “The ironies, in 1993, of giving an award to Serbian poets will be evident to many,” Carolyn Kizer wrote in her judge’s citation for the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. “But the glory of great poetry is that it transcends its time and these agonized events to enter the universal realm of art.”
Editor and translator Charles Simic has now updated and expanded this anthology for new readers in the twenty-first century. Simic has brought together an extraordinary range of Serbian poets, from the oral tradition of folk song to the great postwar poets, including Vasko Popa, Ivan V. Lalic, and Novica Tadic, and the new generation of poets writing now. With wild imagination, mordant humor, and vivid surrealism, Serbian poetry is rich, haunted, and intensely relevant to the world we inhabit.
Charles Simic, poet, essayist, and translator, was born in Yugoslavia in 1938 and immigrated to the United States in 1954. Since 1967, he has published twenty books of his own poetry, including his most recent collection, New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012, in addition to a memoir and numerous books of translations for which he has received many literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award, the Griffin Prize, the MacArthur Fellowship, and the Wallace Stevens Award. Simic is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and in 2007 was chosen as poet laureate of the United States. He is emeritus professor of the University of New Hampshire, where he has taught since 1973, and is distinguished visiting writer at New York University.
“Charles Simic has performed a great service by reminding us, precisely at this moment of turmoil and destruction, that ‘there are still poets and beautiful poems to be discovered and read with lasting pleasure in this vile old world.’” —STANISLAW BARANCZAK, The New Republic