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Robert Elsie
Albanian Literature

Albanian Authors

 

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Brikena SMAJLI, 2006

Brikena SMAJLI, 2006

Webdesign J. Groß

Brikena SMAJLI

 

* * *
(Endless Song)

Two-faced wolf,
Angel and man,
It clawed at the attics
Covered in glacial moss
And...
         found fossils
Love defaced
By one spoken word.

[* * * (Kangë pa fund), from the volume Të fundit vdesin ulkonjat, Shkodra: At Gjergj Fishta, 1997, p. 14. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

Powerless

The stare of death does not obey me,
Anguish has filled my soul with straw.

[Pafuqi, from the volume Të fundit vdesin ulkonjat, Shkodra: At Gjergj Fishta, 1997, p. 24. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

Pain holds the Ashes

Pain holds the ashes of its fire,
Pain is life,
Bent shoulders of an old wife,
Fingers folded behind.
Pain is fire,
Pain, funeral pyre,
A whisper's caress
That bestows no solace.
Pain is destruction
Pain, corpse in its socket,
Gaping mouth of a witch in its pocket,
Pain is a drop.

Pain is the icy tide
Of a liquidless sea
Pain is... lament.

[Dhimbja ka hirin, from the volume Të fundit vdesin ulkonjat, Shkodra: At Gjergj Fishta, 1997, p. 29. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

Tear

The curse of rivers
Has seized me,
It is cold on the road,
My legs are drenched with water,
But, when souls weep,
Their shadows shiver in ponds
And grow long.
Mythical beasts
Float in caverns,
The flame of the candle quivers alone
And kisses the stalagmites
Of the soul...

[Lot, from the volume Të fundit vdesin ulkonjat, Shkodra: At Gjergj Fishta, 1997, p. 30. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

The Comedy is Over

The art-lovers applaud in a tumult,
Parterre, the actors bow, their hands on their hearts.
Behind the scenes both of them weep,
Each for his own plight.

The comedy is over,
Now let us view the tragedy!

[Komedia mbaroi, from the volume Të fundit vdesin ulkonjat, Shkodra: At Gjergj Fishta, 1997, p. 31. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

To Them

You leave me now with a smirk and a chuckle
As you would with someone you've broken,
But you never outdid me in one of your struggles,
You interred me with words that you've spoken.

[Atyre, from the volume Të fundit vdesin ulkonjat, Shkodra: At Gjergj Fishta, 1997, p. 38. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

The She-Wolf

Everyday
I walk out to make friends with the wolves,
People block my path.

I devour them!

[Ulkonja, from the volume Të fundit vdesin ulkonjat, Shkodra: At Gjergj Fishta, 1997, p. 45. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

Tonight

No doors tonight shall be left ajar
For the wolf and I are at large.

[Sonte, from the volume Të fundit vdesin ulkonjat, Shkodra: At Gjergj Fishta, 1997, p. 54. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]