Her first works were published in the literary journal Misao inwhile she was studying at the University of Belgrade. Within a few years, her poems appeared in the Serbian Literary HeraldBelgrade's most influential literary publication. After being dismissed from her post at the high school by the Germans inshe was reduced to a state of poverty and forced to work odd jobs to survive the three-year occupation.
She was only permitted to publish children's literature during this period, but secretly compiled a collection of patriotic poems, which were not published until after the war. Among these was Krvava bajka A Bloody TaleIsidora - Desanka Maksimović - Desanka Maksimović (CD, about the Wehrmacht 's killing of schoolchildren in the Kragujevac massacre. It was recited extensively in post-war commemorative ceremonies and became one of the best known Serbian-language poems.
The work's veiled critique of the Tito government made it especially popular. The following year, she became a full-fledged member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. She became involved in efforts to combat government censorship in the early s and was active until her death in One literary scholar notes that she served as an example for other Serbian women wishing to take up the craft.
She was the oldest of her parent's seven children. Her maternal grandfather was an Eastern Orthodox priest. Within two months of her birth, her father was reassigned to the nearby village of Brankovinaand the family had to relocate. She took an interest in reading at an early age, spending hours in her father's library. When she was 10, the family moved to Valjevo. Inshe lost her father to typhus while he was serving in the Royal Serbian Army.
Her father's death thrust the family into difficult financial straights. In her free time, she learned French. She re-enrolled after the war and completed her secondary education in She enrolled in the University of Belgradeand took courses in art history and comparative literature. She gave some of her poems to one of her former professors, who in turn gave them to Velimir Masuka, the editor-in-chief of Misao Thoughtone of Serbia's leading artistic and literary publications.
She received what was to be the Album) of many literary awards when one of her poems was voted to be the journal's best by its readers.
The collection was met with positive Album). She returned to Belgrade inand upon her return, received a Saint Sava medal from the government for her literary achievements and became a professor at the city's elite First High School for Girls.
By the late s, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was mired by ethnic tensions. InKing Alexander decreed that it be renamed Yugoslavia to mitigate growing nationalist resentment. Before long, the country's political disputes spilled over into literary discourse.
Yugoslav writers could not agree on the political and artistic direction Yugoslav literature should take. Older writers favoured abiding by existing literary norms while younger ones promoted modernism as a means of explaining the contradictions of modern life and exploring the human subconscious. She would later note: "I would not have had as many friends as I have now if I had not been able to forget the biting jokes or critical remarks about my poetry or myself. Impoverished, she resorted to giving private lessons, sowing children's clothes and selling dolls in the marketplace.
She wrote patriotic poems in secret during this time but was only allowed to publish children's books. After the war, Yugoslavia became a socialist state under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito. The collection contained one of her best known poems, Krvava bajka A Bloody Fairy Talea requiem for the children killed in the Kragujevac massacre of October Godine Sahranjena je kraj svoga supruga Sergeja Slastikova Kaluzanina. Znacajne zbirke pesama su:"Vrt detinjstva", "Zeleni vitez", "Gozba na livadi", "Nove pesme", "Pesnik i zavicaj" i "Zarobljenik snova".
Vrhunac njenog pjesnickog stvaralastva je zbirka "Trazim pomilovanje". Pobrala sam spokojno reci tvoje plahe i pune nekakvog bola, jer znam, neces otici u monahe, kao sto zbog neceg kaza. O, veruj mi, bice i drugih staza kojima ces pobeci od mene ti. Pomisli samo kako mene nije ni bilo; kako sam ja samu sebe izumela samo da bi me ti voleo, samo da bih umela biti san tvoj o meni, tvoj san koji me je gorko boleo. Ili poveruj jednog dana kako mi dusa smeta da imam duse, kako mi srce smeta Album) te volim celim srca toplim dnom.
Pomisli kako sam ja stkana od nadopunjavanja zivota snom. Pomisli sve sto ti je uteha. Poveruj kako sam ja kriva sto u meni jos Album) rodjenja, pre detinjstva i pre mladosti gori bolna i ziva strast da svoje i tudje radosti pretvaram u bol.
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