Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Oh, to be alone

Oh, to be alone

By Radmila Lazić 
Translated from the Serbian by Charles Simic

Oh, to be alone
Without your footsteps, your voice.
Oh, to hear the silence like the growing
Of a dark flower in a corner of a room.
Oh, to be in the quiet of things and the quiet mind.
Oh, to be alone
Without your footsteps, your voice.
Oh, to hear only the beating of your heart,
Keeping quiet like a mushroom in a damp forest.
Oh, to stretch across the bed
Like a broken branch.
Oh , to snuggle up to the silence
Like a leaf to the wet pavement.
Oh, to be alone
Without your footsteps, voice and your body,
Covered with silence, wrapped in it.
Oh, to hear the night thicken.
Oh, to lie wide awake
While a ray of moonlight falls on the bed
Like a cold sword.
Oh, to hear the silence like a shriek of the owl.
Oh, to be without your voice, your body
As if laid out in a tomb.

When I started reading the first poetry collection in English , “A wake for the Living “, of the celebrated Serbian Poet Radmila Lazic, I was spellbound by the eloquence and intensity of her lyrics. Her poetry is replete with strikingly original imagery and metaphors. She knows how to use words that make one heart to move to another. How beautifully she has crafted this poem on the intensity of absence of someone dear to her . We are lucky that another fine poet recognized her talents and chose to translate them.

Ref: A Wake for the Living by Radmila Lazić . Translated from the Sebian by Charles Simic. Gray Wolf Press, SaintPaul, Minnesota. www.graywolfpress.org