If a people have no poets and no poetry of their own for a National Anthology, then treachery and barking will do the trick.With these words, a challenge is laid down. "Lightning from the Depths" is the first English collection to present the full range of Albanian verse from the early Christian traditions to the influence of Islam and the Ottoman Empire and from the beginnings of a modern tradition, quashed by the Stalinists, to today. All along this rocky path, poets have turned the political strife, poverty, and isolation their nation has often experienced into art. "Lightning from the Depths" opens readers' eyes to a world populated by artists who spin despair into poetry."The Albanians, god gave them nothing, not even grass. Only snakes and stones. But they did have something which the Almighty never discovered. They lived long and when they died, they died chanting oi oi oi. At each of their heads fell a plane tree split in two" - Ali Podrimja.
Robert Elsie's interest in the small Balkan country of Albania was sparked by several visits he made from 1978 on. He has written many books on Albanian culture and affairs. Janice Mathie-Heck has done extensive work in teaching and counseling Albanian refugees as well as translating, editing, and critiquing various works of Albanian literature.
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- ID: 9780810124622
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