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Review: A Balkan Exchange, ed. W. N. Herbert

Raymond Humphreys, Roundyhouse Magazine

The most interesting of the poems are the short ones by Georgi Gospodinov. Take A Bee, which is brief enough to quote in full:

keeps hitting the glass
the stained glass with
the finely painted lilies
it's been an hour
and not a speck of pollen
it will kill itself
this bee of art.

That would work in any language. A poet with a deliciously off-centre way of looking at things is Kristin Dimitrova. In A Party at the Home for the Disabled she tells the story of a singer who deliberately causes the writer to have a fatal accident. This ends

I asked why he'd done it. There was still
time for me to hear his reply:
Just to show you
nothing's a joke.