|Ancient rock painting at Horseshoe Canyon, Utah|
I could ramble on and on about Popa's use of myth, folklore, surrealism, etc. I could talk about the humor and sly intelligence which springs out of his deceivingly simple poems. I could talk about his use of repetition and cliché . But these labels and explanations would do little but distract attention from the man's voice. Instead I'll just let the 'lame wolf' poet from Serbia say it, and hopefully you will see it for yourselves:
Echo Turned to StoneOnce upon a time there were so many echoesThey were slaves of one voiceBuilt him archesThe arches tumbled downThey’d built them crookedThe dust buried themThey gave up the dangerous laborTurned to stone from hungerTurned to stone they flewTo find to rip to bits the lipsFrom which the voice cameThey flew no one knows how longBlind fools, didn’t they seeThat they flew along the edge of the lipsThey were seeking
Translated by Charles Simic.
For more on Vasko Popa go to www.oberlin.edu/ocpress/Books/Popa.htm
-By Adam Shutz