Robert Elsie | NEWS | AL Art | AL History | AL Language | AL Literature | AL Photography | Contact |

 

Robert Elsie
Albanian Literature

Albanian Authors

 

BACK

Tirana, 28 January 1991 (Photo: Robert Elsie).

Tirana, 28 January 1991
(Photo: Robert Elsie).

Tirana, 28 January 1991 (Photo: Robert Elsie).

 

Webdesign J. Groß

Jamarber MARKO

 

To the dragon

Do not paint
This castle of light,
Barefoot tracks
Stretch right to here.
Do not cast
This bitter bread out,
Barefoot tracks
Stretch right to here.
Do you wish thought
To be strung up?
Faces
Faces
Stretch right to here.

[Te kuçedra, from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 47. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

A true teacher

How were all those
Lethal barriers removed
To leave behind
Only
Death
Full of gall,
How were all those little joys removed
To leave behind
Only
A bowl of soup
Full of sorrow,
How was my last friend removed
To leave behind
Life's skeleton
To be served up
In elementary school?

[Mësuesi i vërtetë, from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 46. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

Iron and blood

Iron
The first spaceship,
Iron
Bullets in a wound,
Iron
Tools in the operating room,
Iron
Shackles on free hands,
Iron
The hands of the clock,
Iron and blood,
Blood,
To melt iron.

[Hekur dhe gjak, from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 14. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

Near you

What you feel
I shed like a belated shower
On parched earth,
What you see
I slowly conceal
Like the vapours of life in an old mirror,
What you think
I surge on some known shore
With the evening tide,
What unites us
I nail to the door
Which will open
Tomorrow.

[Afër teje, from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 18. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

Two hands and two moons...

Two hands and two moons
Groped the darkness,
The moons were split,
The hands took the forlorn halves
And bore them to me
Illuminated in a teardrop.

[from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 30. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

Love

At war with you
I am the first fallen soldier
And you
Think
I am a hero
Who will win
A hundred battles?

[Dashuri, from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 45. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

The tree weeps and is loved

The tree weeps and is loved
The sun sets itself ablaze
Leaves fall silent and are loved
Evening puts itself out
The flower laughs and loves
Man overcomes the cosmos.

[from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 67. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

I make room for a bird in the tree

I make room for a bird in the tree
And I fly,
I make room for a rose in the house
And I fade,
I make room for a friend on the street
And I pass by,
I make room for an old man struggling along
And I take a rest,
I make room for a falling star
And I die.

[from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 64. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

To lock you in the house

To lock you in the house
One needs doors and a colourless sky,
To lock you in the room
One needs books, hands and unrest,
To lock you in your voice
One needs years, smiles and ennui,
To lock you in what you see
Not even life's meaning would suffice.

[from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 71. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

We who did not say to old age...

We who did not say to old age:
Stop!
We who only created something new
Out of coercion,
We who were wrapped in sleep at birth,
At least we dreamed.

[from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 81. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

I forgave you for the day you condemned me to death...

I forgave you
For the day you condemned me to death,
I forgave you
For the hour I went mad,
I forgave you
For the moment I loved the lie,
I'll avenge you for the second you made me your Lord.

[from the volume Rastësisht me dashje, Tirana: Çabej MÇM 1995, p. 7. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]