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.

Luan Rama

Apr 30, 2021 | Poetry | 1 comment

Translated from the Albanian by Miranda Shehu-Xhilaga
My Country

My country is a narrative
ancient as the world,
it’s a slope that descends in sweeps,
like broken eagle wings.
It’s a river of tears
emptying into a sea of bitterness,
it’s a bitter and tenebrous spring.
My country is the sigh that pierces the skies.
It’s a barren land, uncropped,
a hemorrhaged soul sobering
under a candle light.
It’s a lonely olive branch that shakes its wind-gaunt fingers
over graves with nameless stones.
My country is an abandoned village
with dried-up wells and locked doors.
My country is an unfinished poem.
It’s that guest-less hostel on the empty mountain road
that takes you nowhere,
it’s a shriveled vineyard, a flattened forest
and a waste of land razed bare.
It’s an immigrant who keeps his mother’s note
with words of promise in his overcoat,
it’s a laggard’s return under a too-bright sun.
Alas, my country has become a market rout
by those whose love of power has them wrapped in her,
sleeping and waking.
It’s an orgy of purulent politicians
who know too well how to promise paradise.
But my country is… yet a playground
of children who skip on along paths of hope,
It’s a sunny reverie,
like a shadow in the steps of a girl with bouncing breasts.
It’s the sweet kiss of the one I caress
and the wedding that follows in the fall.
My country is, and will ever after be
this fairy tale enthralling, binding me.

__

Elegy for Aegean Sea Dolls

For dolls, an elegy has never been written,
an elegy mourning their dreams,
but today on the Aegean coast,
an elegy alone too little seems to be,
for their faint eyes in the great calamity
burned and thrown by thunderstorms and lightning.
For the silent mouths of children left at sea
fleeing the war and the horror of the world,
there is nothing but their small shoes left,
the scarves of the lost mothers who knows where
and these nameless dolls without hands and feet,
without their adorned shirts
and eyes that no longer can speak of anything
from their hell-journey ,
dolls washed out on the Aegean coast …
For dolls, elegies have never been written says the foamy wave,
never, repeats the wind that hits the rocks,
the wind that weeps with its Homeric tears.
This is the elegy of shoes that will not walk tomorrow,
the elegy of children who can no longer dream,
the elegy of their extinguished eyes in the world of bullet-like wonders
in the Sea of the Dead Humanism…

__

 

Poets Die Like Birds

Arben Shehi went to blow out his candle the night before…
Poets fall like sparrows,
Fired,
struck by lightning,
closer to the storm and the sun.
Poets are the wounded heart of gamebirds:
that’s why they are the first to plummet
wing-broken, sleepwalking
towards an endless death
in a life that does not dwindle.
Poets take the first blow
as they have embodied the fires and the heavenly voices
and so by Olympus are condemned.
They die before their time
From the life-long labour
of sowing love throughout their days.
Poets perish
From a lover’s loss and yearning tears
They stop hearts and break one’s breath
when in their death, they drop.
Glance away:
The poet’s searing gaze is brimmed with tears…

__

Luan Rama

Luan Rama

Luan  Rama  is  an  Albanian  scholar,  filmmaker,  editor  and  writer  born  in  Tirana  in  1952. Rama  is  author  of  60  books  including  novels,  stories  and  historical  books,  such  as  “The literary  Paris”,  “Last  trip  of  Arthur  Rimbaud”,  “The  Autumn  of  Alberto  Saviani”,  “François Mitterand – Gods die also” and two volumes of poetry published in French, “Territories of the soul”  and  “Cover  me  with  a  piece  of  sky.”
Luan  Rama  is  a  distinguished  diplomat. For  his  distinguished  service  to  his  country  and  his  excellence  in  writing,  Luan  Rama    has been awarded many prices and recognition awards

Miranda Shehu-Xhilaga

Miranda Shehu-Xhilaga

Miranda Shehu is a trained physician (University of Tirana) and a scientist (Monash University) living in Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of the poetry volume “This pain is mine” (Albas Publishing) and translator of “Bantam”, a selection of Albanian poetry of the 20th century (Austin Macauley Publishing, London) and Luan Rama’s “Zaratha’s Epistolary” (Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne).

1 Comment

  1. RAMA Luan

    Mister Biswadip, I am very touched by the publication of my poems on your site. Your publications are very very interesting poets from all continents. Thank you so much!

    Reply

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