Sunday, May 1, 2011

Grigor Prlichev, Macedonia

I was almost convinced that I wont be able to find a suitable stamp for today's Sunday Stamps topic on poets and poetry, coz I dont seem to have such stamps in larger amounts...and then I realized that I dont have to look any further than my own country coz I have the perfect stamp for it..and I must admit I am also extremely proud and happy that I can feature a Macedonian stamp and have the chance to introduce you to at least a bit of the Macedonian culture.
To see what others have chosen for today, please visit Viridan's blog

The stamp im featuring today was issued on 10 September 2010 by the Macedonian post office in order to commemorate the "150th Anniversary of awarding a Laurel Wreath to Gligor Prlichev for his poem 'The Sirdar'. The face value of the stamp is 100 denars, which is around 1.7 euros. Which makes this stamp totally useless for sending the majority of mail, but from a collector's point of view, i really love it, and I love such stamps which do not follow the usual shape.


Grigor Prlichev was born in Ohrid on 18 January 1829 and died in the same city on 6 February 1893.  He was a poet, a translator, an orator, a chronicler, an educator, a national activist and one of the biggest creative geniuses of Macedonia in the 19th century. The Sirdar is one of his most famous works and among else he had translated the Homer's Iliad.
On 25 March 1860 he was awarded the Laurel Wreath for the Sirdar at the traditional literature contest held in Athens and was named the Second Homer, something that hasnt happened before. The prize hasnt stayed long with him, but that involves political issues and I wouldnt want to go into it right now.
In this poem, he delineates in epic form the difficult position of the Macedonians, and their struggle against the Turks taking as a basic motive the Macedonian folk song about Kuzman Kapitan.

Following is an excerpt of the poem, translated in English. The translation is in courtesy of one of my university professors, Mr. Graham Reid.

From Galichnik to Reka sighs and shrieks of sorrow rise;
What dire disaster hounds
The men and women thus to waken Echo with their cries?
What New-found ill abounds?

Have the hailstorm's sharp stones shattered the field of standing wheat?
Have locusts stripped the fields?
Has the Sultan sent hard-hearted taxmen early for receipt
Of their most bitter yield?

No, the sharp stones have not shattered the field of standing wheat;
Nor locusts stripped the fields;
Nor the Sultan sent hard-hearted taxmen early for receipt
Of their most bitter yield.

if you are interested in reading the whole poem, you can click on the link here.

Have a great Sunday everyone! 


  1. This is a stamp I like because of its shape. You have educated us well with the details of Gligor Prlichev. Thanks also for including the link to a poem well worth reading.

  2. I am learning so much this week. Thank you for telling us about this poet. And, it's a beautiful stamp in an unusual shape - always fun.

  3. I think there have been only three stamps issued in the US with this shape, which always draws attention. I'm surprised they didn't include Prlichev's face in the design, though.

  4. Grigor Prlichev is the first Macedonian poet I have ever encountered,thank you for sharing.

  5. Interesting! Macedonia has a turbulent history, and many enemies have sent their troops and taxmen there. Also, Macedonian troops had quite a long journey abroad, under Alexander The Great. One could say that "we have to invade our neighbors/enemies, or they will invade us, sooner or later."

  6. I like the stamp idea. The poem seems to echo the style of the Iliad, he must have done a marvellous translation.

  7. I think the stamp is really beautiful - I love the hands!