In Jovan Nikolić’s early poems ‘Stepeno invalidnitosko / Stepen Invalidnosti’ and ‘Sovli / Zavet / Gelübde’ a common feature of his overall poetic style can be found – casual and trivial situations become a reason for philosophical and metaphysical reflections on the human condition and values.
Black skin and a dark appearance, essentialised as an identity marker by both Roma and non-Roma, are frequent topics in Romani writing. ‘Stepeno invalidnitosko’ [Degree of Disability] is arguably one of the most sensitive yet expressive first-person poetic narratives about Roma facing stigmatisation by the ‘Others’ right from the first encounter only because of their appearance. Thus, living among people may cause much suffering. ‘Sovli’ [Vow] is a powerful pledge by a future father to secure his heir a life among humans using wild beast training methods.
The poems were also published in Jovan Nikolić’s 1982 collection Gost Niotkuda / Dosti khatinendar:: Pesme (Vršac/Vîrset: Biblioteka Kov). Source of the present versions: typed manuscripts provided by the writer. Romani translation by Rajko Djurić.
Source of the present versions typed manuscripts provided by the writer. Romani translation by Rajko Djurić.