Olimbi VELAJ (Albania)

Olimbi VELAJ (Albania)

 

Olimbi VELAJ (1971) was born in Albania. She studied in Tirana and Sofia. Velaj is author of two lyric volumes (third one is in proces of publication), the last two are bilingual volumes (Albanian-English). Velaj is emergent poet in Albanian contemporary poetry. Her poems are published in literary magazines and anthologies in 15 foreign languages. She has nominations and awards: in Albania (1993, “Migjeni”, prize for debuting poet), Kosova (2002, prize for the best poetry of woman poets in Albanian language), Romania (2005, nomination for the Balkan Prize of Poetry), Lebanon (Naji Naaman’s Literary Prizes 2014). Velaj has been journalist for two decades. Actually she is Head of Literature Department, Faculty of Education, University of Durrës and lecturer for Albanian Language, Literature and Culture, University of Belgrade.

Moments succumb beneath the hands of clocks

Moments succumb beneath the hands of clocks
Roofs, day after day, rammed from the start into the sun
Like brown pyramids without bases,
Far away, where the soul is vagrant,
Hands lounge in the doorways
Of greetings,
In a gravy of poems drown gloomy twilights,
An ancient and endless old tree
Ever quietly casts its foliage,
As if from a failed exam
I return
Under the whetted whining of the wind,
Moments succumb beneath the hands of clocks,
Sprawled on the streets like invisible corpses
Under epitaphs with slurs like “former”.

[Çastet vdesin nën akrepa orësh. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

The last night of love

Warm was
The last night of love
And the fire was spent over the sea
Like shards of ancient urns
Filled with pagan bones,
The last chords of sound fell in silence
And froze
Within me,
The past hours turned to stone
In the salty spray,
But warm
Was the last night of love
And time slid
Like a swath of fog
Over our Gothic figures.

[Nata e mbrame e dasahurisë. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

The loss

I know
What an extinguished fire
Means
Like a child
That is not yet
Curious
About death
I stood
In a morgue
Of irretrievable loves
Never were my eyes
As morose
Never closer to heaven.

[Humbja. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

Photo by Agnieszka Herman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s