In wishing to bring the values of the folk lyricism closer to modern readers, the publishing house Creative Center has published the “Serbian folk lyrical poems”, edited by Simeon Marinkovic and Slavica Markovic. The report from Dusica Maticki.
The poems are classified into 18 thematic groups, such as the love, family, wedding, working poems, PR of the Creative Center Jelena Dragojlovic told our radio. This edition features 506 poems from various areas where Serbs live, she says. Our collocutor has pointed that the poems are accompanied with the explanations of the symbolic meaning of entities, items and phenomena that are mentioned – flowers of roses, calendula, violets and others, as well as various trees – fir, pine, apple, cherry…and also deer, doe, hawk, Sun, Moon, water etc. Besides that, Dragojlovic adds, the rituals and customs in which the poems were performed are illustrated. According to her, the book contains comments on the poems, the assessment of their aesthetic, ethical and cognitive values.
Dragojlovic stresses that lyrical poems are priceless testimony about the daily life of our people, and they emphasize the high moral values they stand for – love, work, beauty, optimism, wisdom, compassion, humility, solidarity; and on the contrary, they condemn evil, injustice, humiliation, slavery and slave-like obedience. The book also features scientific apparatus that will help researchers in the further work, said our guest, adding that the review for this publication was written by our renowned expert for folk literature Bosko Suvajdzic. Dragojlovic has underlined that the book was illustrated by Mirjana Zivkovic.
The “Serbian folk lyrical poems” of the Creative Center is rich in photographic depiction of customs, rituals, costumes, ornaments and embroideries, mostly taken from the collections of the Ethnographic Museum. All that provides a vivid portrayal of the environment in which the poems were born.
Dragojlovic reminds that when these songs first appeared in Europe, published by Vuk Karadzic in 1815, the first to note their beauty were Jacob Grimm and Goethe. In their reviews, they used to compare them with the scent of a rose and Solomon’s Song of Songs. Poet Adam Mickiewicz has stressed that “there is nothing more enchanting than the style of those poems, it is the peak of the perfection that a Slavic style was able to reach”. And Vuk Karadzic used to say that “they hold the most invaluable purity and sweetness of our language”. Later, in the 20th century, poet Vasko Popa concluded that “we can only be proud of the poetic treasure of our people. It makes us one with the whole world, and at the bottom of each word we can fathom miraculous keys to open the mysterious gates of beauty – the beauty that man creates in order to defeat the ugliness, time and death”.
In the end of this exquisite book, the editing team of Simeon Marinkovic and Slavica Markovic concludes that the Serbian lyrical folk poems represent valuable linguistic heritage that was being extracted from the people’s soul over centuries. Therefore, this book holds a lasting value, as a welcome edition to every home library.