Jelena Radovanovic: “Fratricidal”

I asked Zarko if he knew the poet Radmila Lazic, translated by Charles Simic (see earlier post) and he said he did know her and that she is an important poet of her generation (which would also be my generation). Then he suggested another Serbian poet, living in Germany, whom he likes as well. It turns out that she writes and publishes in Serbian, but also writes in English. Here’s a poem that caught my attention:


Let’s go out to the field

where blood is drizzling sizzling

on the snow white bright

on the snow glassy glossy

blood hurries and scurries

the throat hisses

the hand misses

blood is leaking

the hand is seeking

the nails are scratching

the brain is retching

the soul is oozing

the eyes are snoozing

the nerve winced

the meat is minced

We are slaughtering us lively:

he killed my brother and father

i killed rather his mother

he killed my cattle in one rattle

he jibed with my tribe

with his name i did the same

he followed the taints

and cursed my saints

Drill to kill

kill and thrill

murder further

slay and flay

cherish to perish

By hook or by crook

an eye for an I

shove the dove

leave the olive

and thou shalt

thou shalt

thou shalt

thou shalt shovel thy neighbour

as thyself

– See more at:

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at
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