Summer 1982 • Vol. IV No. 3 Contemporary American PoetryJuly 1, 1982 |

To V V: On Our Translation of the Kossovo Fragments

Vladeta the Voyvoda!   knight who brings the newsFrom Kossovo   to gracious Militsa,Lazarus's queen,   sister of the Jugovici,Daughter of Jug Bogdan—   that's the stock you're made of!In the name   of God AlmightyAs they all repeat   in these old epic poemsWe struggle with   (and even in the nameOf Allah maybe)   what could ever bringA hero and a Serb   To South Bend, Indiana? Where Ivan Mestrovic   petered out his talentIn the awful portrait busts   and bland madonnasOf his exile   we meet besideThe only decent   piece of work in town—His Jacob's Well   and puzzle overFates as dark   as those of Lazarus And Milosh Obilitch   sung down centuriesOf Turkish occupation   by dusty peasant guslersWho didn't need to know   that fancy alphabetSaint Cyril left behind,   in which reforming VukSpelled out phonetically   a living languageWhere one itches through 

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