A Swallow Press Book
By John Matthias and Vladeta Vučković
Preface by Charles Simic
Afterword by Christopher Merrill
The Battle of Kosovo cycle of heroic ballads is generally considered the finest work of Serbian folk poetry. Commemorating the Serbian Empire’s defeat at the hands of the Turks in the late fourteenth century, these poems and fragments have been known for centuries in Eastern Europe. With the appearance of the collections of Serbian folk poems by Vuk Stefanovic Karasdzic, the brilliance of the poetry in the Kosovo and related cycles of ballads was affirmed by poets and critics as deeply influential as Goethe, Jacob Brimm, Adam Mickiewicz, and Alexander Pushkin. Although translations into English have been attempted before, few of them, as Charles Simic notes in his preface, have been persuasive until now. Simic compares the movement of the verse in these translations to the “variable foot” effect of William Carlos Williams’s later poetry, and argues that John Matthias “grasps the poetic strategies of the anonymous Serbian poet as well as Pound did those of Chinese poetry.”
First published in 1987, the translation of the Battle of Kosovo is now reprinted both because of its intrinsic merits and because the recent crisis in Kosovo itself compels the entire world to understand the nature of the ancient conflicts and passions that fuel it. Although Matthias and Simic have elected to retain their original preface and introduction, Christopher Merrill, a scholar of the region and author of Only the Nails Remain, has contributed a brief afterword explaining the importance of this poetry in the context of NATO’s first military action ever against a sovereign nation.
John Matthias is the author of seven previous volumes of poetry. He teaches at Notre Dame University. More info →
Save 20% ($13.56)
US and Canada only
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Click or tap on a subject heading to sign up to be notified when new related books come out.
Retail price: $16.95, S.
Release date: April 1999
The Tenth Muse
Classical Drama In Translation
Edited by Charles Doria
Although classical drama has been translated before, this new collection is unique. The translations are modern in their poetry; the translations include poets as well as classicists; and the collection includes at least one example of every known type of ancient Greek and Latin drama.
Literature · Literary Criticism, Theater · European Literature
The Two-Blood Border Lord—The Grottaferrata Version
By Denison B. Hull
· Translation by Denison B. Hull
· Introduction by Denison B. Hull
Among the epic romances of post-Barbarian Europe, such as Roland and El Cid, Digenis Akritas has been the least known in the West. It is the story of a half-breed prince who guarded the Roman Empire of Byzantium on the Euphrates in the tenth century. This new translation recaptures an urbane vanished civilization.
Poetry | Medieval · Poetry | Epic · Literature · Middle East
The Wife of Martin Guerre
By Janet Lewis
· Introduction by Kevin Haworth
· Afterword by Larry McMurtry
The Wife of Martin Guerre—based on a notorious trial in sixteenth-century France—is “one of the most significant short novels in English” (Atlantic Monthly). Originally published in 1941, it still raises questions about identity, belonging, and about an individual’s capacity to act within an inflexible system.
Literary Fiction · Historical Fiction · Women Authors · American Literature · France · Literature
Sign up to be notified when new Literature titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.