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The Bulgarian writer Nikola Vaptsarov (1909-1942) was one of the most significant European poets of the twentieth-century, a radical Modernist whose work has often been compared to that of Mayakovsky and Lorca. A marine engineer, fireman, fitter, railway-stoker, trade-unionist and a Communist, Vaptsarov was executed during the Second World War for his part in the Bulgarian resistance. He was thirty-three.
Although only one book of Vaptsarov's poems, Motor Songs, was published in his life-time, since his death his poetry has been translated into over fifty languages. He wrote a quick, colloquial, concrete, argumentative poetry that transcended the usual idioms of Communist ideology to include cinema, radio, adverts, popular culture and modern technology.
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