Ivana Milankov is one of Serbia's best-known poets whose poems question themselves as much as they question the world around them. Distances in space and time are reduced to the size of a line break as the poet searches for meaning in experience; despite this, however, it is a surprisingly transparent poetry, where a world is created in each poem, holding our attention through an underlying drama of reason and feeling.
Milankov's poetry allows us to glimpse a modernism that draws part of its reference from the presence of the Roman Empire and surrounding ancient civilisations of the Middle East. In this outstanding translation by Zorica Petrović and James Sutherland-Smith, we are dazzled by an imagery whose structure and development confounds our expectations.
Serbia's rich historical and religious history is evident in these poems and there is an untiring effort to reach beyond the sensations of the world around her towards mystical revelation, to communicate the incommunicable.
Some poems emerge from private experience and others from the imagined experiences. Milankov's poetry does not seek to be contemporary in that it does not deal directly with recent conflict in the Balkans. Rather it draws on the insights and shortcomings evident in the wider European culture
ISBN 978 1904614 78 4 (pbk)
ISBN: 978 1906570 18 7 (hbk)
Published November 2013