Foreword to Anthology of Young Macedonian Poets
The impetus toward expansion of the spiritual horizon is a basic assumption of any poetic creation. In the light of this statement, the creative potential of young authors is primarily directed toward the reception of classical and current poetic forms in their poetic endeavour and, furthermore, toward their deconstruction. If the impulse of the poetic dialectics stops at one of these two phases, then the author did not manage to construct an authentic lyrical environment regarded as an essential contribution to the poetic fund as a whole. Or more precisely, if the process stops at the first phase, the young author will remain marginal and his work will be but a shadow of some other work. And if the process stops at the second phase, the author will become an anti-poet and his work will by no means be accepted as poetry. The only acceptable and therefore essential outcome of this dialectics can be the creation of poetic innovations with immanent spiritual zeal.
II. The Most Recent Macedonian Poetry
The recent poetic developments in the Republic of Macedonia have shown that most of the younger Macedonian poets have overcome the first two phases of poetic dialectics despite the fact that the Macedonian and the world poetic heritage have put an enormous pressure on them by means of their expressive and stylistic variety and scope. This is the main reason why the initiative to realize the project Anthology of Young Macedonian Poets must be understood and accepted. Consequently, the primary (literary) criterion for a poet to be included in this anthology was that he / she satisfied the principle of quality, i.e. that his / her poetry was actively probing the third phase of the poetic dialectics. The secondary criterion to be fulfilled was mostly chronological: the poet had to have a book published after 1995, i.e. to be active within the Macedonian poetic environment during the past five years and not to be older than thirty.
After a careful reading of the work that belonged to the most recent poetic publications in Macedonia there followed a stern selection and seven names of poets whose work carried innovative and pregnant lyrical achievement have been chosen to feature in this anthology: Natasha Bunteska, Nikola Madžirov, Ivica Anteski, Maja Apostoloska, Emil Kaleškovski, Violeta Bončanoska and Aleksandar Kirkovski. It should be noted that all of these authors, besides their earned presence in this representative selection of the most recent currents in contemporary Macedonian poetry, should also be represented in more comprehensive anthologies of Macedonian poetry, as the quality of their verse deserves more attention and allows such representation.
In order to be more perceptive of these poetic currents, the critical method must correspond to the lyrical innovations and become an appropriate evaluation of the work of the seven young Macedonian poets. Therefore we have decided to use an integral approach that enables us to elucidate the interior aspects of the aesthetic values of the poetry presented in this selection.
The poetry of Natasha Bunteska displays very subtle lyricism thematically preoccupied with femininity and divinity. The rendition of such subject matter is carried out through self-reflection built into the search for the transcendental. This is also evident in the fact that the poetry of Natasha Bunteska abounds with matriarchal mythological matrices.
Adequately, her poetic discourse, which approaches the fable or, to be more precise, the realm of the miraculous and the obscure, coincides with her motivational and thematic determination. Bunteska’s poetic narrative is interwoven with many fantastic elements, which create an effect of defamiliarisation and wonder.
Analyzing the intense imagery, one of the most impressive features of Bunteska’s poetry, one cannot help but underline its unusual structure. The lyrical expression of this poet, primarily by means of personification, imbues far-off events and phenomena with great immediacy and suddenness.
The poetry of Nikola Madžirov is characterized by urban thematic and it can be noted that this author has a Manichaean attitude towards the city.
In his poems Madžirov undertakes a vivisection of reality inspired by the urge to surpass material limitations. Pivotal in this work is the poet’s spiritual probing, i.e. his desire to reach new horizons. Parallel to this essential acumen of ideas and motifs in the poetry of Nikola Madžirov is the presence of an awareness of the transitory character of everything material in this world. Approaching it as homo ludens, he strips it bare and scrapes the tragic layer from it.