Translator's notes

The Perfection of the Forgotten Ones

By Nikola Madzirov

Nikola Madzirov’s life and poetry are bound up with the history
of the Balkans. He was born into a family of historically displaced
people (his very surname ‘Madzirov’ means ‘homeless’) and by
the time he came of age in Macedonia, his region was once again
plunged into dislocation and conflict. Madzirov described this as
‘war that did not belong to me but was coming my way’ and the
‘death of childhood’.

Madzirov’s poetry reflects this only obliquely. He writes spare
poems of remembrance, striking poems of images which constitute
a personal metaphysics. Madzirov’s poetry is the song of the
fragmented world where much has been unlearnt and has passed
into oblivion, and yet hope still ‘climbs jagged crags’.

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