Jovan Zmaj

Zmaj, Jovan


(pseudonym of J. Jovanović). Born Nov. 24, 1833, in Novi Sad; died June 3, 1904, in Kamenica, Voivodina. Serbian poet.

Zmaj studied law in Vienna, Pest, and Prague from 1853 to 1857 and medicine in Pest from 1863 to 1870. He participated actively in the national liberation movement. He is an out-standing representative of Serbian romanticism, with clearly expressed realistic tendencies. The national patriotic theme has a central place in his poetry (“Vila,” 1858; “The Three Partisans,” 1866; “Unfortunate Mother,” 1871). Zmaj is an eminent satirical poet, as in “Ode to a Stick,” 1878, and “New Elections in Serbia,” 1884. He was one of the first in Serbian poetry to depict the peasantry’s and urban poor’s lack of rights (“The Third Share,” 1880; “The Usurer,” 1881). Some of the best examples of Serbian romantic lyrical poetry are his collections The Roses (1864) and Faded Roses (1882). He published the satirical magazines Zmaj (The Snake), Zlič ZliĎa (The Light), and Starmali (The Dwarf), and the children’s magazine Neven (The Marigold).


Sabrana dela, books 1–16. Belgrade, 1933–37.
In Russian translation:
Stikhotvoreniia. Moscow, 1958.
[“Stikhi.”] In Poety lugoslavii XIX-XX vekov. Moscow, 1963.


Doronina, R. F. “Grazhdanskaia poeziia lovanovicha-Zmaia 60–80-kh godov.” In Literatura slavianskikh narodov, issue 3. Moscow, 1958.
Milisavac, ZŻ. Zmaj. Belgrade, 1954.