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Kosta Abrašević (Serbian Cyrillic: Коста Абрашевић, May 29, 1879 – January 20, 1898) was a Serbian proletarian poet, though patriotic to the core, at a time when Serbs of Old Serbia were struggling to rid themselves of Turks and other neighbouring invaders.
Kosta Hristić was born in Ohrid in the Manastir Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (in present-day Republic of Macedonia) on May 29, 1879, to a poor merchant family. His father, Naum Hristić, was Serb and his mother Sotira Greek.
After finishing three years in a Greek school in Ohrid, he continued his schooling at a gymnasium (high school) in Šabac, where he started using patronymic of his father's nickname "Abraš" as a surname. Early on in his life he came in contact with Socialist ideas, and founded a political-writer group in Šabac, which published magazines Omirov venac and Grbonja. In his poetry social ideas are prevalent. This could be seen in his poem Red, where the expression "Ruby-red" is associated with blood and "Mighty veins," "lighting" and "dark eyes" all showed the inevitable triumph of the workers and the crushing defeat of tyrants (Turks). He translated German Socialist poets. His original poems are found in socialist magazines after his death, and his collection, which had seen many editions, was printed by high school and college student groups in 1903. His works are translated into Russian, Hungarian, Albanian and Romanian, also some of his works are interpreted by composers such as S. Anđelić and M. Živković. He died in Šabac on January 20, 1898. He was only 19 years old.
Today many cultural and artistic societies throughout Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina carry proudly his name. Unfortunately, of this young poet, very little is known, although many critics consider his poems to be significant for the poetic emergence in the ranks of the former Yugoslav proletariat (1945-1989). The poems of Kosta Abrasević reflect strong dissatisfaction and rebellion against the then-position of the dominant and privileged class—the Turk—and thus are paradoxically and prematurely identified as proletarian and socialist.
Kosta Abrasević died too young to make a significant mark for himself in literature. He will remain, however, with those who sought liberty and justice and died for freedom of his beloved homeland—Old Serbia. They will live on in their ideas that they sang with such passion, which pervade and shook our agitated and seething times.
The wind whistles on all sides, Scrapes the wood, breaks the branches! With all the force of its flight Sweeping across, rushing over the world. Whistling a song - to the horizon! About the courageous fighter who fights For his whole life For an idea, for his principles. May this hope always follow him: That, when death overcomes him, New fighters will appear Take up his flag, Whistling a song, whistling to all the wicked and to the tyrants! A song of anger, a song that rages A song that brings fear, A song of pity, a song of poverty, Let them hear it, let them grow pale!
After Grigor Parlichev of Ohrid, the wearer of the laureate wreath is Kosta Abrašević. Both were born in Ohrid, yet each claimed a different loyalty, one was a Bulgarian and the other a Serb respectively. Even today both Bulgaria and Serbia claim the land so fondly immortalized by both poets.
- M. Милојковић: Коста Абрашевић. Живот и рад, Београд, 1951.