Freedom to travel, cultural diversity, autonomy of the cultural scene and, last but not least, rock ‘n’ roll. These seemed to be the great promises for today’s generation 50+ in Tito’s Yugoslavia when asked about ‘belonging to the world’. A mixture of confidence, high spirits and rebellion. The best expression of the life attitude was certainly rock music and poetry, especially the early poetry of Zvonko Karanović. The pivot from the provincial to the urban was accomplished, programmatically and practically, in poetry and in one’s lifestyle. Then came the disillusionment: the disintegrating country; the majority politically and culturally organised itself around backward-looking utopias, for many the great future lay in a glorious, ethnically defined past. Zvonko Karanović refused to join this mass choir and followed his own voice. Thus, his poetry remained marginalised by necessity in the decade of the wars. Increasing interest in his poetry in New York, London and Kyiv shows that the world is gradually bringing a Serbian citizen of the world home.
Bilingual selection of poems, edited by Dragoslav Dedović.