Berengarten, Richard

Richard Berengarten - The Blue Butterfly

£10.95

Richard Berengarten - The Blue Butterfly

Paperback, 172pp, 9x6ins

Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

Winner of the Wingate Prize.

 

The Blue Butterfly has two points of departure. The first is a Nazi massacre in former Yugoslavia. On 21 October 1941, seven thousand men and boys from Kragujevac, a town in central Serbia, were marched out to the nearby hills and gunned down. The poet Richard Berengarten visited the site of this atrocity, on 25 May 1985. As he was queuing to enter the memorial museum, a blue butterfly descended onto the forefinger of his writing hand. This extraordinary and powerful book takes off from these two episodes. The title poem is already famous in former Yugoslavia in the translation by Danilo Kiš and Ivan V. Lalic. In Serbia, Berengarten has been honoured with the international Morava Prize for Poetry. In the UK, an early unpublished draft of this sequence was awarded the Wingate-Jewish Quarterly Prize in 1992. The Blue Butterfly unflinchingly explores both revenge and forgiveness, expanding from the Balkan historical context to the present time. The complete book has been a long time in the making. Because it examines profound and important issues, because it does not flinch from asking large questions, because it shapes a crafted, vital, living poetry out of suffering and tragedy, and because it insists on hope and pleads for joy, this is a book which has moral implications on many levels. Both passionate and thoughtful, demanding and rewarding, it is European in context and universal in scope and relevance.

 

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