The poet Kosta Abrašević was born in Ohrid on 29 May, 1879 and died of tuberculosis on 20 January, 1898 in Sabac.
After he completed primary school in Ohrid, he continued his studies in Sabac, where he began to use his father’s nickname “Abras” as a last name. Early on, he came into contact with socialist ideas and founded the political-literary circle in Sabac. His poetry is dominated by socialist ideas. He died very young, at the age of 19.
His original poems were published in many workers’ and socialist journals after his death, and his collection of poems, which were issued several times, was printed in 1903. His poems have been translated into Russian, Hungarian, Albanian and Romanian, and some were composed into songs.
Many cultural and artistic societies in Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina bear his name, including OKC Abrašević.
Unfortunately, much about this young poet is unknown, although many critics considered his verses a significant contribution to the poetry of the former Yugoslavian proletariat. Kosta Abrašević’s songs reflect strong rebellion and discontent against an oppressive ruling class and thus clearly legitimizing the socialist movement. His poetry is understood as a means of achieving a more just and solidarity society. His verses remain moving and relevant even today.
Following is one of Kosta Abrašević’s poems translated into English.
The fatal moment arrives! Oh, I ready my grave with ice,
kneeling my worn body: I have no life force.
I do not fear death & life was bitter.
Life’s sweetness I have not had a drop to drink.
Death is not terrible, when my heart and soul say
That I will live forever, for those that want to save
The whole human race.
I do not regret life; because my songs reinforce
Sufferers all over the world as yourself to seek salvation
In the fight for freedom!