The Roads of the Roma: A PEN Anthology of Gypsy Writers

The Roads of the Roma: A PEN Anthology of Gypsy Writers


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From the Backcover

...unuttered sentences...minarets of grass...a grave in the air...tarots of memory...petals of skull...the dusty violin...white horses, distant plains...a gathering of silent hearts...ashes and lime... These are the images of today's Gypsy poets. From their departure from India in the middle ages to the present day, the Romani people have faced slavery, pogroms, expulsions, hangings, firebombings and - in Nazi-occupied Europe - genocide. In this unique anthology, Romani poets and writers from twenty countries address this devastating legacy. Forty-three poems and prose extracts, most appearing in English for the first time, are arranged alongside an 800-year chronology of repression. What emerges is a portrait of a people struggling to preserve their identity in a hostile world. The Roads of the Roma is published on behalf of the PEN American Center as a volume in their Threatened Literature Series. In his introduction Professor Ian Hancock of the University of Texas, himself an English Gypsy, unravels the history of the Roma since they left their original home in India and traces the growth of a written literature out of an oral tradition.

"We recreate entire cultures from fragments of pottery, and we go to great lengths to protect the sanctuaries of diminishing species. It is small wonder then that we should treasure this assemblage of the work of a threatened and wandering people whose culture has seemed to us ephemeral, if we have known of it at all." Edward Albee "The Roads of the Roma has taken me into a new world of great beauty, imagination and mystery. The 'invisible people' step into the light along a path of poetry." Antonia Fraser

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780900458903
Publisher: University of Hertfordshire Press
Publication date: 10/01/1998
Series: Threatened Literature Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

We were silent for thousands of years,
but our hearts are full
of unuttered sentences
like a sea receiving
blue river waters
all its life long.
From "The People with the Face of the Sun" by Dezider Banga

Table of Contents

Introduction by Ian Hancock
Editors' note
Roads of the Roma by Leksa Manush, Latvia
Chronology - from 979 AD to January 1998
Interspersed with the following poems and prose:
The price of liberty (prose extract) by Mateo Maximoff, France
Tramps by Dezider Banga Slovak Republic
Without house or grave by Rajko Djuric, Former Yugoslavia/Germany
Allegory by Sterna Weltz-Zigler, France
The long road by Saban Iliaz, Republic of Macedonia
If I say love I give a name by Jose Heredia Maya, Spain
Eleven laments by Jose Heredia Maya Spain
Son of the wind by Alexian Santino Spinelli Italy
Gypsy soul by Nadia Hava-Robbins, Czechoslovakia/U.S.A
Extracts from untitled verse by Papusza, Poland
Son of the invisible people by Alexian Santino Spinelli, Italy
The Gypsy from India by Nicolas Jimenes Gonzalez, Spain
As the pelicans by Bela Osztojkan, Hungary
Ode to the Twentieth Century by Leksa Manush, Latvia
Django by Sandra Jayat, France
Extracts from: a red foundling strolls into this dream by Mariella Mehr, Switzerland
Justice by Alexian Santino Spinelli, Italy
Give me a string to play on by Djura Makhotin, Russia
Ars poetica by Andro Loleshtye, Former USSR
Minarets of grass by Dezider Banga, Slovak Republic
Seeing if there's something that makes me good for nothing by Jose Heredia Maya, Spain
I'll sell you my tears by Mateo Maximoff, France
I was born in black suffering by Saban Iliaz, Republic of Macedonia
I remember a child by Paula Shöps, Italy
Only ashes remain by Bairam Haliti, Croatia
The apparition of Choxani by Luminita Mihai Cioaba, Romania
The terror years by Rajko Djuric, Former Yugoslavia/Germany
A wedding in Auschwitz by Rajko Djuric, Former Yugoslavia/Germany
The wooden rose by Hester Hedges, England
Up the chimneys by Charlie Smith, England
White snows fall on Belarus by Valdemar Kalinin, Belarus
New Rom by Jimmy Story, Australia
I am the common Rom by Gregory Dufunia Kwiek, Poland/USA
The Bosnian tragedy by Gjunler Abdula, Republic of Macedonia
The raid by Alexian Santino Spinelli, Italy
Inside me the wind howls by Margita Reisnerova, Slovak Republic/Belgium
The stone by Chrissie Ward, Ireland
From prayer of an impious father and Gypsy mother by Rajko Djuric, Former Yugoslavia/Germany
My father, God be good to him (prose extract) by Chrissie Ward, Ireland
You smug bastard by Ian Hancock, England/U.S.
Green, yellow, blue, red are the colours of my people by Nadia Hava Robbins, Czechoslovakia/U.S.A
We did not break our century-old drums by Alija Krasnici, Former Yugoslavia

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