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Last edited by New Avenue Books
July 15, 2012 | History

Circling: 1978-1987 1 edition

Cover of: Circling | Dejan Stojanović, Translator: Dejan Stojanović

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Circling: 1978-1987

Published 2012 by New Avenue Books in USA .
Written in English.

About the Book

Poetic Circles of Dejan Stojanović

In a colorful landscape of contemporary Serbian poetry, a careful reader can recognize that one of its branches, with a decidedly reflective experience of the poetic tradition and heritage, corresponds with a Serbian medieval age, opens up for its Byzantine chords and, in the context of contemporary poetry, is closest to Modern Classicism. In the first wave of Serbian post-World War II poetry, this stream was at the very foundation of a revival, which is almost suppressed today.

It seems that precisely today, in the atmosphere of almost complete saturation by the practice of ever changing poetic trends, Serbian poetry is returning to its basics. This picture of a slow rebound, a long awaited reorientation on the Serbian poetic scene, is already happening, by all accounts, and is being sensed in the actual literary production.

Reading the book Circling triggers the associations of this kind of a wave, which is not underground anymore, but has transformed itself into an actual poetic phenomenon. Dejan Stojanović, obviously, is not influenced by any contemporary poetic school or fashionable poetic trend, and is not trapped by some sensibility as a “follower.” Stojanović, as a reflective poet of mature thought and discourse, revives the atmosphere of the ancient (antic) times even in the first layers of his poems. It is easy to notice what specifically marks Stojanović in Serbian contemporary poetry: In weaving his poems and building his lines, a poet has returned to the antic form of utterance, to the difficult and slow movement of the poetic matter, to the dignified and solemn tone, and that kind of wisdom which was nourished in ancient times.

Far from experiments, from challenges of hazards and poetic adventures, Stojanović’s poems exude the dignity of ancient forms. Similar to the techniques of painters, Stojanović condenses his utterances into short, harmonious poems, most often colored with Mediterranean colors, surprisingly successfully. His poems, almost by a rule, are condensed forms made of short utterances. In the second part of the book, poetic palette becomes darker with an introduction of fantastic and hallucinogenic elements and even apocalyptic tones. Nevertheless, the principle of condensation and consistency of form is never questioned. Apocalyptic scenes and images of evil are expressed in huge blocks that give the impression of a work of an architect or a sculptor. Such are the poems “Vision,” The Chess Board,” “Arrival of Darkness,” and “River of Death,” which all appear as compositions. There is a feeling that Stojanović wrote his poems along with visual compositions; to that extent, visual-imaginative effects are impressive.

Specific, surprisingly original, outside the collectively nurtured sensibilities and fashionable trends, Stojanović is an extraordinary example of creative individualism in a generation that nourished such individualism the least. For that reason, the book Circling is not only an example of an extraordinary poetic achievement, which represents a strong encouragement to the important branch of Serbian poetry, but is also an announcement of a moral and spiritual project – a project that belongs to the tradition of Serbian poetry and thought in the best sense of the word.

-Alek Vukadinović
Afterward to the first Serbian edition (1993)

Dejan Stojanovic’s poems are astute and spiritual tangents of a circle that comprises the phenomena hidden beyond the direct naming of the world and things in poetic transposition. With his poems, he seeks the borderlines between the content and its metaphysical expression, pure thought about the world and its essence. Passion and complete and easy flowing devotion to poetry and to the power of words, poetically and semantically, above all, shape his original poetic output.

-Petar V. Arbutina

If I Am

If I knew
That grass broods while growing

If I knew
That a bird longs for the life while flying

If I then watched insects
As they mate and chirp
I would have thought about meaning

If I watched waves and saw
How persistently they hit the shore

If I felt the call of earth by seed
All for all, life for life

If I watched the heavenly bodies
How each longs for a circle of fulfillment
I would see soul in everything

I found traces of natural wisdom
In the slightest breeze and a bright smile
In cataclysms and changes

And although personal calling I sense
Who am I? Even if I am
I don't know

Hearing Far

Mystery of knowledge once dreamed,
A spark of tightened vision emerges:
Cities, omens, squares, castles,
A landscape into a landscape merges to
Molded fugue—the line of Being

Vista replaces vista
Pulse trembles—secret membrane
Accepting sound—gentle nuance
Into the cloud of Being where
An eternal vista falls


A small creature
You lonely planet
What do you dream?

What do you see
In your little world?

What do you dream
And what does infinity mean to you?
Are you not infinity and


I remember a dream
And the life within

An immense wall
And the wall beyond

The dazzling leaves of the Universe
And the antipode

The silent walk, the water
And climbing the mountain

I remember this very dream
And the life within


Slipping into light years’ shoes
In light years he walks
Striding to touch the seductive wind of quest

To find himself among the lighthouses
Diving into a galactic sea

By a magnetic force, he’s drawn
Into the almighty dream
Only on his mother’s bosom to fall again


He was awakened by the sound of air
Its scent and shadow covered him
In its touch, he sensed the silence

He arrived in the space
Where peace waived its wings at him
And at an endlessly distant spot
He saw another being

The closer he moved
The farther it seemed still


The elf arrives by winged vigor,
With secret whiff it dilutes the air
His radiant body blows away all doubt
His trail inscribes reconciliation

In the elf’s blue eyes, the myriad
Skimming from one island to another
A multitude of tiny winged forces
Trail the elf into mystery


From the flowering palms, the doves will fly,
Smelly rays shining from their eyes
With wavy hair covering landscapes
Taming the wilderness with a song

Seas are blooming
Inspired by siren singing
The blue curtain sings
Enveloped by the flying gardens


His vision
Wanders across bottomless space
Through foggy dreams it flies
With outward speed
He senses the magical movement

His fire
The purpose of the dream hides
And when dust he becomes
Only his echo
The fog will save

The Other Side of Sight

A world discovered
On the other side of sight
Is equal to the open sea—
Timeless, immeasurable

Enchanted by the peace of
Seductive mystery
The sign for meaning that eternity offers

The spark
That sends a river from itself
To itself
Is meaning

River of change and there is
Meaning found in movement
Until peace arrives
At the meeting point of the first source


People Light

To merge with mortar
To feel its truth
In the darkness of frescoes

To see how a soul
Of amulets and temples breathes
To pay respect
To the processions of saints and knights

To meet fathers
Under the yew tree on the hill
And observe an ancient valley
That you are leaving behind


Lighthouse in the deep
Is it yours?
Or is the shining scent
As invisible orbit
Recognized only in reverie?

Your spirit on a voyage
Come to me
In endless darkness
Shine upon my path
My own spirit to enlighten


If I recreate the past—
A lantern above the abyss
Shall I see myself

Shall I sense the condensed ray
When fog begins to shine?
Shall I sit in the ether-plane
When I am taken by suspicion

In an endless vacuum merely
Listening to the sound of fallen times
Before me?
Cosmos-Vila Cosmiliya Surfaces

A road divided
On which I travel
The land that I long for


Carved out by tectonic folds
It surfaced from the rosy Adriatic Sea
Powerful Lovćen—a friend of storms
The entire mountain—the poet’s grave
Twisted landscapes
On two waters
Birds of Vranjina and vegetation of Skadar
Sun in the Sea
Sea in the Sun
People in the Sea and the Sun
Bathe and multiply

Black mountain—fire bearer
In all sunrises and sunsets


Winter giants came from darkness
To illuminate clearings
Through hidden passages
Descending from the heights

With the melting snow
Into life they rushed
Washed with the glitter
Of wakening dreams

Led by a secret hand
A heavenly smile
A sturdy look
Life was given to them
Short, but deep

With snow falling into darkness
Deep snow wants them back

Protective Word

The word and its enticing whistle
Is the internal vision
Of the fire bearer
Coming of age

The word was sent to other nests
Peace bearer—world giver

Spark in the eye—lightening
Generous thunder—the word was
Fire borne—a catharsis


Aristotle’s descendant
Staggers in the mud

Thousands of years—
A blinding bright spark of time
Magnificent science transformed
Into fog

On one side
Blessed peripatetics
Lulled by the eternal dream

On the other side
There is nobody to wake up eternal seekers
Only a shadow

Table of Contents

Poetic Circles of Dejan Stojanović
If I Am
Hearing Far
The Other Side of Sight
People Light
Protective Word
Conversation of Atoms
Flint and Steel
Spring Music
Little World
What Are You
Awakening of a Flower
The Circle
The Open Door
Suns and the Night
The Star and the Eye
A Grain
Approaching a Cliff
Ascent of a Barbarian
Alexander the Great
Yan Palah
The Blue
A Man and a Mountain
Shaman in the Blue Mountain
In the Silence of the Century
The Call
In Search of Spark
The Same Dust
The Thin Thread
New Vandals
The Trees of Stone
Lightening the Abyss
Spaces of Peace
The Chessboard
Arrival of Darkness
River of Death
A Melody of the Primeval Homeland
A Word
About the Author

Edition Notes

Poetry in translation.

Other Titles
Copyright Date
2012 (Original: 1993, 1998, 2000)
Translation Of
Translated From

The Physical Object

Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library


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July 15, 2012 Edited by New Avenue Books Added new cover
July 15, 2012 Edited by New Avenue Books Added new cover
July 15, 2012 Edited by New Avenue Books Edited without comment.
July 15, 2012 Created by New Avenue Books Added new book.