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>> Serbian Epic Poetry - Introduction <<

SERBIAN EPIC POETRY

Serb epic poetry ( Serbian : Српске епске народне песме ) is a form of epic poetry written by Serbs originating in today's Serbia , Bosnia and Herzegovina , Croatia , Macedonia and Montenegro . The main cycles were composed by unknown Serb authors between the 14th and 19th centuries. They are largely concerned with historical events and personages.

Corpus

The corpus of Serbian epic poetry is divided into cycles:

Non-historic cycle
Pre-Kosovo cycle - poems about events that predate the Battle of Kosovo
Cycle of Kraljević Marko
Kosovo cycle - poems about events that happened just before and after the Battle of Kosovo (no poem covers the battle itself)
Post-Kosovo cycle - poems about post-Battle events
Cycle of hajduks
Cycle of uskoks
Poems about the liberation of Serbia
Poems about the liberation of Montenegro
Poems depict historical events with varying degrees of accuracy.

The Kosovo cycle

Modern Serbian epic poetry

Serbian epic poetry is being made even today in this same form. Some modern songs are published in books or recorded, and under copyright , but some are in public domain , and modified by subsequent authors just like old ones. There are new songs that mimic Serbian epic poetry, but are humorous and not epic in nature; these are also circulating around with no known author. In the latter half of the 19th century, a certain MP would exit the Serbian parliament each day, and tell of the debate over the Monetary Reform Bill in the style of epic poetry.

One of the most famous examples is the Kosovo curse , documented by Vuk Karadžić in 1845.

People of Serbian epic poetry

Filip Višnjić , dubbed the "Serbian Homer" both for his blindness and poetic gift, was a guslar ( gusle player) who lived 1767–1834.


Excerpts

Slavic antithesis :
“ There two pines were growing together,
and among them one thin-topped fir;
neither there were just some two green pines
nor among them one thin-topped fir,
but those two were just some two born brothers
one is Pavle, other is Radule
and among them little sis' Jelena. ”
( Kraljević Marko speaks: )
“ "I'm afraid that there will be a brawl.
And if really there will be a brawl,
Woe to one who is next to Marko!" ”
“ "Thou dear hand, oh thou my fair green apple,
Where didst blossom? Where has fate now plucked thee?
Woe is me! thou blossomed on my bosom,
Thou wast plucked, alas, upon Kosovo !" ”
“ "Oh my bird, oh my dear grey falcon, [ 2 ]
How do you feel with your wing torn out?"
"I am feeling with my wing torn out
Like a brother one without the other." ”
Modern example of Serbian epics as recorded in 1992 by film director Paweł Pawlikowski in a documentary for the BBC Serbian epics ; an anonymous gusle singer compares Radovan Karadžić, as he prepares to depart for Geneva for peace talk, to Karađorđe , who had led the First Serbian Uprising against the Turks in 1804: [ 3 ]

“ "Hey, Radovan, you man of steel!
The greatest leader since Karađorđe!
Defend our freedom and our faith,
On the shores of Lake Geneva ." ”

Quotes

“ The ballads of Serbia occupy a high position, perhaps the highest position, in the ballad literature of Europe. They would, if well known, astonish Europe... In them breathes a clear and inborn poetry such as can scarcely be found among any other modern people. ”
Jacob Grimm

“ Everyone in the West who has known these poems has proclaimed them to be literature of the highest order which ought to be known better. ”
Charles Simic

* source: wikipedia

Some Serbian epic poetry you can read it on my blog: http://blogspotdragon.peperonity.net


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