Ali Podrimja (b. 1942) was born in Gjakova at the foot of the so-called ‘Mountains of the Damned.’ After a difficult childhood, he studied Albanian language and literature in Prishtina. Author of over a dozen volumes of cogent and assertive verse since 1961, he is recognized both in Kosova and in Albania itself as a leading and innovative poet. Indeed, he is considered by many to be the most typical representative of modern Albanian verse in Kosova and is certainly the Kosova poet with the widest international reputation. Podrimja’s first collection of elegiac verse, Thirrje, Prishtina 1961 (The calls), was published while he was still at secondary school in Gjakova. Subsequent volumes introduced new elements of the poet’s repertoire, a proclivity for symbols and allegory, revealing him as a mature symbolist at ease in a wide variety of rhymes and meters. In the early eighties, he published the masterful collection Lum Lumi, Prishtina 1982 (Lum Lumi), which marked a turning point not only in his own work but also in contemporary Kosova verse as a whole. This immortal tribute to the poet’s young son Lumi, who died of cancer, introduced an existentialist preoccupation with the dilemma of being, with elements of solitude, fear, death and fate. Ali Podrimja is nonetheless a laconic poet. His verse is compact in structure, and his imagery is direct, terse and devoid of any artificial verbosity. Every word counts. What fascinates the Albanian reader is his compelling ability to adorn this elliptical rocky landscape, reminiscent of Albanian folk verse, with unusual metaphors, unexpected syntactic structures and subtle rhymes.