Six poems by Alisa Velaj

Poetic Credo

I have always known where I come from, and I have always wanted the path on which I must go. I am not talking about visible paths, on which we travel every day, but those paths where the winds rattle and go crazy. I want to apprehend the language of those winds, their unknown tongues. Then, when I lie to myself that I have translated something from them, even a little bit of that rattle, I sit and throw it down on paper. There are other kinds of visible winds, the tangible and inglorious ones, though these cannot be compared to my original inspirations. They are faint but revolutionary; they incorporate the air of the cities and my breath. In them, they translate me and throw me down on paper as poetry. Yes, oh yes, I am their poetry. But as inglorious as they are themselves…

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THE WIND FOUNDATIONS
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The wind foundations
Are to be found in Odysseus’ migrations.
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The unwoven cloth
Is the building…

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Translation from Albanian Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj
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OBLIVION AT DUSK
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I fear the oblivion of a stone
At the dusk of a nameless city
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My grandmother had told me that the stone
Has breathed sadness since immemorial times
For it carries the city in its bone…
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Translation from Albanian Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj

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THE SQUARE
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Taking shape after shape,
Matter translates into different selves
At the speed of light.
Paralysis shines in human eyes.
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Translation from Albanian Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj
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A MIRAGE
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Shadow ravens
Preach by the river
Of the white lilies

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Translation from Albanian Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj

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A RING
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A ring with a black ribbon
Running through it
Flies in the air
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As if it were a flag at half mast
No cherub
Is raising toasts at the wedding party…
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Translation from Albanian Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj

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