Monday, January 30, 2017

Novica Tadić

Novica Tadić (1949—2011) is a Serbian poet who was born in Montenegro, and spent most of his life in Belgrade. Charles Simic translated his poetry for the book Night Mail: Selected Poems (1992). Throughout his career, Tadić has steadily won every major award that Yugoslavia, and later Serbia, had to offer — although he is still relatively unknown in the West.

His poems often are horror-filled, in reaction to the inhuman treatment he and others received at the hands of Yugoslavia’s communists — such as in “Biography,” where the speaker has been randomly beaten by authorities, which actually reflects his own experience. In his early poetry he used symbolism from Bogomilism (a heretical medieval cult that existed in the area). In his more recent work, Tadić becomes increasingly orthodox in the expression of his own Christian faith.

The following poem is from Assembly; translated by Steven and Maja Teref

Candle

Black thought
(illthought)
coils around
my ankles,
lunges
at my throat,
descends
into my heart.
My guardian
angel grabs
the candle,
lights it
so gently
with holy
fire. My candle
burns upright
in my gloom.
I, the stumbling
man, now upright.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.