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The Quest for Roots

The Poetry of Vasko Popa


Anita Lekic

This work analyzes and elucidates the principal motifs and images in Popa's work in relation to Yugoslav traditions of myth, time, and history. Popa's poetry reflects a fascinating synthesis of existential concerns and a primitivist belief in the transcendent dimensions of human existence. The pagan vision of man and time in Papa's principal collections signifies an attempt to compensate for the loss of faith which lies at the root of twentieth-century existentialism. The modernist sense of rootless and alienation is overcome by a return to the mythic roots of poetry, language and human existence.