Duska VRHOVAC (Serbia)
Duska VRHOVAC, poet, journalist and translator, was born on March 24, in 1947 in Banja Luka, Republic of Srpska, BH. She graduated comparative literature at Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, where has been living and working since. Currently she works as a writer, translator and freelance journalist.
With more than 25 published books, some of which have been translated, in part or in full, into more than 20 languages, she is among the most significant contemporary authors of Serbia and beyond. Present in newspapers, literature journals and anthologies of absolute value, she has participated in many gatherings, festivals and literary events in Serbia and abroad.
She has received important awards and recognitions for poetry, including: May prize for poetry – 1966, Yugoslavia; Ascension of Poetry – 2007, Serbia; Premio Gensini, Poetry Section – 2011, Italy; Naji Naaman’s international literary prize for complete works – 2015, Lebanon, Beirut; Plaque and medal with the figure of Sima Matavulj, founder and first president of the Serbian Writers’ Association – 2016; and the gold medal for the “generosity, dedication, perseverance and creative contributions to spread the culture of the nation-es“, assigned by the Institution for Culture and Education of the Republic of Serbia.
Duška Vrhovac is a member, among others, of the Association of Serbian writers, Association of Literary Translators of Serbia, of the International Federation of Journalists, and she is Ambassador to Serbia by Poets of the World (Movimiento Poetas del Mundo) and the current Vice President for Europe.
POETS – PESNICI
Poets are a gang,
of banalities and eternity.
They are useless seekers,
hunters of lost words,
the spies of roads and seas.
Poets are vain gardeners
of overgrown royal gardens,
vanguards of star derailments,
messengers of sunken ships,
desecrators of secret paths,
crafty repairers of the Ursa Major
and the Ursa Minor,
collectors оf astral dust.
Poets are thieves of illusions,
troubadours of rejected utopias,
seducers of any kind,
tasters of poisoned food,
prodigal sons and professional seducers,
heroes which spontaneously
put their heads at the guillotine
at which they are also executioners.
Poets are the crowned guardians
of language’s proper being,
lovers of unsolvable mysteries,
charlatans and pimps.
They are the favourites of gods,
tasters of magic drinks,
and crazy squanderers
of their own lives.
Poets are the last offshoots
of the most delicate sort of cosmic beings,
cultivators of the soul’s white flowers,
unreliable creators of untenable worlds.
Poets are interpreters of lost signs,
carriers of important messages,
a warning that Life is endless
and Universe an unfinished project.
Poets are fireflies on the junkyard of the Cosmos,
conquerors of the colourful rainbow belt
and performers of the holy music
of the cosmic birth.
Poets are invisible companions
in the silence of sense and absurdity
of all the visible and the invisible.
Poets are my only, true brothers.
MAY BE IT EXISTS SOMEWHERE
May be it does exist somewhere
Harmony, Sense and pure Feeling
but here where you dropped me, Lord,
topluck my days, I did not find them.
In this night of white peacocks and thoughts of jade
the wind tore the notes of my melody.
My soul grew tired and my heart clenched
listening to the old signs of recognition.
Your note screeched, dear, spent
like ozone in an industrial city, unnoticeably.
The tide which rises at the thought of you
thattremour which transports me into the other,mild wind,
all of it looks like dispersed fog this night
looks like belated spring in an overgrown garden
like dying colour of a blue violet in a forest clearing
or the bud of a cultivated rose in summer drought.
If you know the words of dodolas which bypassed our land?
if you know the mute code of dew frozen in its fall
look at me and pronounce that splendid thought about happiness
which is stuck by fear in your throat for a long time.
Or, maybe, you and me, we all, are a like.
TO FIND MY OWN WORD
Countless poets have already told
how they see a whole world in a grain of sand,
infinity in the palm of a hand, all heaven in an eye,
and how a single day an eternity can hold.
How many of them have glorified love,
cursed suffering, sorrow and pain,
described death, hell, paradise and a happy home,
earnest that everlasting shall be their work and name.
Everything has been said and seen,
forewarned, sung and written about,
and there is nothing that has ever been.
So why then do I here stand
like the first woman and the first man,
as if I were a God?
To say what is already told?
To describe what has evolved?
To find my own word.
I do not have to go anywhere any more
all travels can stop
all escapes, searchings, every walk.
All the landscapes are poured over into my words,
all the rivers are merged in my bloodstream,
I drank the sea, I adopted (assimilated?) the mountains,
I tamed the woods, counted the valleys,
out of the blue an stormy skies
I made myself a festive attire.
I do not have to go anywhere any more.
All travels can stop.