Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Hesitation— Iva Damjanovski

Jul 16, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

TRANSLATED FROM THE MACEDONIAN BY ZORAN ANCHEVSKI

hesitation-Iva-Damjanovski

Image Used For Representation

 

HESITATION

All suns
are red and rounded
before rising.
Just as all heads
of all matchsticks
before burning.

So I’m puzzled at times:
do I light the dawn
or just my cigarette?


COBWEB

I am a wind, wild.
I am a child.
At night when I dream of gravity
and weigh endlessly,
I want to see how the spider in my room
dies slowly,
trapped in its own cobweb.
I see how its useless movements
become slower
and can’t suppress my smile,
I am a wind, wild,
and see things like a child.
I see how my spider falls prey
to what it knitted,
and surrenders fully.
Like all the insects among its ropes,
it gives in finally
and falls in love with its cobweb.
It becomes gravity
and weighs endlessly,
it kills its own web,
it kills its own lace
and now knows it must eat
itself.


WHY WE DIE?

Well, that’s easy,
our blood is made of iron,
and the oxygen rusts the iron.
So we die:
With each new breath
our blood turns to rust.


FREEDOM IN YOU
(A communist love poem)

I know I’ll never start a revolution against you.
I’ll love your dictatorship.
I’ll not destroy,
but build your monument.
I’ll stop suffocating.
I’ll listen to you.
I’ll stop remembering,
I’ll stop being difficult,
I’ll stop being wrong.

You’re mere anarchy
and I’ll find my freedom in you.

I’ll let you use your weapons
if you promise
that never again
would there be peace
and my wound
would become food
and I’ll find my freedom in you.

In you
we’ll be alone,
finally pure,
the same forever

and I’ll find my freedom in you.


SLAVIC SORROW

At times it comes to me –
the whole of the Slavic sorrow.
It’s heavy,
full of hammers and sickles
and hits me hard in the head.
And I cry and am cold,
in a Slavic way,
and I kiss the ground
but can’t explain it,
no one can explain
how it comes
but it comes.
And when it does,
it pours entirely,
age-old,
immense
and nonsensical.
The whole Slavic sorrow,
made up of hardship,
of sun and tobacco,
made up by people
with wild, wrinkled faces
dressed in raw hides of sheep
and dead dogs.
It comes as a cross
and descends on my shoulders.
It comes,
and blinds me.


Also, read Neene and other poems by Abdoul Ali War published in the Antonym:

Neene and other poems— Abdoul Ali War


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 Iva Damjanovski

Iva Damjanovski

Iva Damjanovski (born 1996) is a poet, pianist and thereminist from Skopje. 

Currently she is doing a master’s degree in Musicology at the University of Trento, Italy and one in Piano Interpretation and Composition at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje. 

She has published three poetry books and in 2020 her second poetry book Hesitation was awarded the prestigious national award Miladinov Brothers at the Struga Poetry Evenings Festival. 

Her poetry has been translated in Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, English, Albanian, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Romanian and Bengali. 

She is also part of the duo Alembic, whose first album was published in July 2022. 

Zoran Anchevski

Zoran Anchevski

Zoran Anchevski (b. 1954), university professor of English and American literature, poet, translator and essayist.

He has published eight books of poetry that have been well received by the critics and highly acclaimed and awarded by various awards, including: Studentski Zbor, for best first book of poems (1984); the international poetry award Giacomo Leopardi in Italy (2004), “Miladinov Brothers”, the most prestigious national poetry award (twice) for Celestial Pantomime (2018 and Puzzled Compasses, 2022); Grigor Prlichev Award for a long poem (The Lives of Horses, 2022). He has also published a number of essays, reviews, and a book-length study in literary theory and criticism, Of Tradition (2007). He is the editor and translator of several poetry and short story anthologies in English and of many major British, American and Macedonian poets and prose writers into Macedonian or English. For his work in translation, he was awarded the national translation award Grigor Prlichev (2001).

Selections from his poetry have been translated into more than twenty languages and published in various magazines and anthologies at home and abroad.

He is a Board member of the Macedonian Writers’ Union, two times secretary and current president of Macedonian P.E.N., former president of the Organizing Board of the Struga International Poetry Festival (2002-2007). Lives and works in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia.

 

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