Review of collection of poems by Leonora Bruçaj – Keka
This collection of poems, which I had the pleasure, delight, and fortune to bring into English as a translator, is one of those rare cases when such an endeavour, seemingly and genuinely very difficult and complicated, turns into an exercise of literary passion, an outline of inspiring feelings, and an attractive journey towards perfection. It turns into everything that literary translation usually involves and implies, especially when done from the mother tongue of the poet and translator, into a great foreign language, worldwide lingua franca, such as English.
For this reason, I feel flattered by the opportunity I had to get to know the poems of the poet Leonora Bruçaj Keka first, then getting into their depth, being in the mutual role of the reader and eager appreciator of poetic art, and the translator, through a dualism, fruits of which I think will be noticed immediately by anyone who reads these poems in the original, the Albanian language, and then in the translated English version.
I emphasize this, because genuinely, being a man of letters myself, as a writer and translator, I would never be able to translate qualitatively, sensitively, and frankly, if a work of such pure and immaculate poetic flow as this one you are about to read would not be deeply embedded into the soul, the feelings, the emotions, and very special poetic gurgling of these poems which quite naturally, similar to an unstoppable verse, have been created by the author and have also gently and spontaneously found their own sound even in English.
This is typically the feature that makes distinguished some literary creations in whatever language they were originally conceived, and from the moment when by fortune the day comes to be translated into a foreign language, the translator is to expect the pleasant surprise provided by the appropriateness of these creations, Leonora’s poems in question, transforming into their poetic alter-ego in the language they are translated to, preserving most of their original forms, embodying the best linguistics of the language which they have been translated into, and achieving to convey almost entirely untouched metaphors, sensory feelings, and their poetic passion to the reading taste of the foreign readership.
Literature needs genuine poetry, genuine translations and poetic passion, and as a translator I have tried to give my best in this literary translation endeavour, being grateful to the poetic dough moulded so sensitively and immaculately by Leonora Bruçaj Keka.
Leonora Bruçaj Keka