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> Flori Bruqi:Kush eshte Eqrem Basha
Flori Bruqi
Postuar nė: 29.10.2006, 16:46
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Tėrė kohėn flas :)

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Bashkangjitur: 12.10.2006

Eqrem Basha (b. 1948) is among the most respected contemporary writers of Kosova in recent years. He was born in Dibra in the western Albanian-speaking region of what is now the Republic of Macedonia, but his life and literary production are intimately linked to Kosova and its capital Prishtina, where he has lived and worked for the past three decades. It was in the early 1970s, during the only real years of freedom in Kosova, that Eqrem Basha moved to Prishtina to study language and literature at the newly created Albanian-language university there. He later worked for Prishtina television as editor of the drama section, but was fired for political reasons during the Serb takeover of the media in 1989-1990. Basha is the author of eight volumes of innovative verse spanning the years from 1971 to 1995, three volumes of short stories and numerous translations (in particular French literature and drama). He is currently in the publishing industry in Prishtina. Eqrem Basha is an enigmatic poet. Perplexing, fascinating, and difficult to classify in a literary sense, he succeeds in transmitting a certain mystique to the inquisitive reader. At one moment he seems coolly logical and shows an admirable ability to reason deductively, and the next moment he is overcome by absurd flights of fancy into a surrealistic world where apparently nothing makes any sense. Basha has an urbane view of things and delights in the daily absurdities of life. Nothing could be more foreign to him than the inspiration many of his fellow poets derive from the rich folklore traditions of the northern mountain tribes and verse of social commitment. His verse is light, colloquial and much less declamatory than that of many of his predecessors.
Dark ballad for a bright day
The leader of the band X with a dark hat
With dark gloves and a dark overcoat
Dark eyes dark hair dark eyebrows dark beard
With ten dark-eyed companions
And a long dark limousine
Broke into a shop in a luckless town
In the middle of the bright day
From there they took to the road
And hastening back to their den to divide the loot
The dark won out on that bright day
The heavy fog covered their tracks
The leader of the band X with a dark hat
With his ten companions and his big limousine
Divided the bright loot in their dark den
Added up their money and found it worthwhile
The leader of the band X became the boss
And joined forces with leader Y
The leader of the band X with a dark hat
Became the leader of X Y and Z a week later
With three deputies and a host of fighters
Then the leader of the band XYZABC with a dark hat
With X deputies and X-times a host of fighters
Held a solemn banquet and set up
A dark state with dark roads and dark towns
With a dark army and dark police and a dark administration
Dark ministers and a dark parliament
on a bright day
[Baladė e zezė e njė dite tė bardhė, from the volume Yjedet, Prishtina: Rilindja 1977, p. 72, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

Ode to mediocrity
We the mediocre
Were born somewhere in the middle
Cried in mezza voce
Were wrapped in medium-quality swaddling clothes
Neither expensive
Nor cheap
We the mediocre
Neither rose
Nor fell
We left a bit of space at the beginning
And at the end
So that our blades would not be blunted
We the mediocre
Eat at mid-day
Sit midpoint at the table
Find our names halfway down the list
Speak up in the middle of a conversation
Tighten our belt at the midriff
Have a beauty spot amid our brow
We the mediocre
Bite into the centre of the apple
We the mediocre
Get married neither young nor old
We the mediocre
In the midst of mid-life
Build an average home
Neither wealthy nor poor
We the mediocre
Neither clever nor stupid
Neither strong nor weak
We the mediocre
Neither big nor small
Neither guilty nor innocent
We the mediocre
Equidistant at middle-age
Live an average life
In the middle of this century
And in the middling midst of the middle
We get accustomed to it
We the mediocre
And do not stop at the end of the road
And do not start at the beginning
But stand rather somewhere
In the middle
We the mediocre
Walk right through the middle of the world
[Odė mesit, from the volume Atleti i ėndrrave tė bardha, Prishtina: Rilindja 1982, p. 13, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

Ballad of the man the world did not know
Every morning he sent letters off to the whole world
With imaginary addresses and confusing messages
And on them he licked the stamps of his suffering
The man the world did not know
He rose and bowed to present himself
With arms raised he cried out to his own idols
He loitered in train stations, anticipated friends who never came to see
The man the world did not know
Every day at dawn he waited at the gate
For the postman to bring him replies
To his correspondence from someone in the far wide world
The man the world did not know
Message after message, words and requests
Not a scrap of dust on his typewriter
Not even the spiders came to rest in the room
Of the man the world did not know
And one day he stopped living, he had no more ink
His quill dried up, his typewriter fell silent
Who is this poor fellow? they said when they found him dead
The man the world did not know
The funeral parlour buried him
And put on his grave a tombstone
Only one letter arrived at his address
The bill for the burial
Of the man the world did not know
[Baladė pėr njeriun qė nuk e njihte bota, from the volume Atleti i ėndrrave tė bardha, Prishtina: Rilindja 1982, p. 17, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

Nighttime traveller of this world
He did not get up like everyone else - in the morning
For him the day began in the trenches of the desperate
He arrived in this world from the night
And travels nocturnally to reach the day’s end
He did not get up when the sun rose
Nor was he born when ants awakened
In the final analysis you cannot write poetry about him
Because he is not human but a mole feeding
On the rotting roots of this world
He is neither alone nor with friends
To do his portrait you need shadows
Greyish hues and light filtering in through the fog
He did not get up like everyone else - in the morning
He travels his whole life long from the edge
To the heart of darkness
He belongs - as they say - to the family of the mole
Which respectable folk chase with poison
To protect their healthy roots
You cannot write even a verse about him
Although he is sensitive and employed
Married to a wife who loves him, with two or three children
With two or three mortgages and an apartment
In the third district of the second residential zone
Of local municipality number one in region number three
And yet - he is sensitive
He twice attempted to commit suicide
The third time no one noticed
He stopped in the middle of the road
And did not go through with it
For a beautiful day dawned, startled him and frightened him off
He did not get up like everyone else
Nor has he ever washed his face in the morning dew
The light reflecting in the sparkling waters of the pristine well
Always keeps him blind
This is why he does not sleep when the rest of us do
He does not get up when everyone else does
He is quite prosaic on matters of poetry
You cannot write a ballad, modern verse
Or short lyrics about him
He is someone you never notice
From Building No. 7 of District No. 3, Unit CX 12/7, No. 23
On the 12th floor of Residence 47, left wing
A proletarian with a milk bottle at the door every day
And a roll of newspapers criticizing the degenerate morals
Of the world in which he lives
Any verse about him would be without appeal
And yet
He lives in this world
And merits
Having two or three words
Written about him
In a poem
[Udhėtar i natės sė kėsaj bote, from the volume Udha qumėshtore, Prishtina: Rilindja 1986, p. 15, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

Two headlights
Two policemen
Keeping watch over the cold night
A bird
Killed in an accident
Lies in the frigid night
No dreams
No solemn funeral
I stand on its behalf
In the middle of the road
In the frozen night
And search
For a model obituary
[Ftohtė, from the volume Udha qumėshtore, Prishtina: Rilindja 1986, p. 37, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

Balkan menu
Don’t set the table, love
Let’s go out for dinner
We’ll leave early
And come back late
Life here in Europe’s changed
Come on, love, let’s go
Let’s have some punch
At the Admiral Bar
And a coupe royale
At the Montreal sidewalk cafe
In Benny’s pool room
We’ll try a carom behind our backs
We’ll have a cappuccino
At Marilyn’s cafeteria
And a martini with olives at the Florida Club
Don’t set the table, love
Let’s go out for dinner
To the Miami Pizzeria
And have a pizza New Jersey
An escaloppe viennese at the Roma restaurant
And then go to Parma’s
For a coupe macédonienne
And when it gets late
We’ll go back home
To empty our bowels
In a Balkan latrine
[Meny ballkanik, from the volume Zogu i zi, Skopje: Flaka e vėllazėrimit 1995, p. 31, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

The streetsweepers of Prishtina
Who could know the town better
With the sandalled feet of children
On tank tracks
With the mouths of little boys
Drinking water
From teargas cartridges
Who could know the town better
Than those who wash it at night
And cannot cleanse its wounds
No one
More than the clotted veins
Which turn pale in the morning
In the eternally busy vaults
Of Europe’s morgue
[Larėsit e Prishtinės, from the volume Zogu i zi, Skopje: Flaka e vėllazėrimit 1995, p. 32, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

The wolf
In the wilds of the forest
I saw only squirrels
In the wilds of the forest
The wolf is always right beside you
He is your neighbour
You can smell him
In his jaws
Are pieces of your life
[Ujku, from the volume Zogu i zi, Skopje: Flaka e vėllazėrimit 1995, p. 89, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

The nightingale sings
Who is that bird singing on a branch alone
And where is its flock
Which is the plaintive song
And which is the season
That bird has a voice adept
At singing on a solitary branch
No friends no family
It has come to earth on its own
With a flute in its beak and anguish
Which is neither a wound
Nor a song
What is that mourning so near which belongs to us
Sing to us nightingale sing
[Kėndon bilbili, from the volume Zogu i zi, Skopje: Flaka e vėllazėrimit 1995, p. 93, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

The audience
The head of the protocol department asked
What are you involved in
We are tired I said
Alright, but what are you involved in
In ourselves
We said
We have been occupied
We would like to have a little rest
Are you involved in politics
Oh no
Our goal is freedom
The department head took note
And gave us a startled look
They look naive he said
As he came in to meet us
And desperate
They are Albanians
They come from a land of hatred
They want to be understood
They don’t insist on love
[Audienca, from the volume Zogu i zi, Skopje: Flaka e vėllazėrimit 1995, p. 132, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

From half a metre away, everything on the dingy whitewash of the damp wall - all the stains, the finger prints, the droppings left over by the flies and the cobwebs, - resembled a grandiose painting which evoked a myriad of associations - new and repeating forms as well as amazing ghostlike shapes. Was it the murky drops of water trickling downwards, was it the dampness of the wall itself, or was it rust from the reinforced steel which had made its way to the surface? It could also be mildew, moss or lichens, which would thrive under the favourable conditions offered by such a tiny room. It was, at any rate, a strange and enticing world which enabled him to forget the shooting pain in his ribs. His heavy, weary eyes seemed to be searching in the filth for the reason, or one of the reasons for his presence there. There must certainly be a reason somewhere in that sombre and airless hole.
There seemed to be no one else present in the room, but he had been given orders not to turn around, and he followed them strictly.
At one point, he heard the door creak open. A slight breeze wafted over his body. Someone had entered. One, two or several people. He could hear steps of varying intensity and felt for a moment that someone, one, two or several people, were standing right behind him. He heard someone, one, two or several people, breathing and then the steps fading away. They wandered off in the space he imagined to be behind his back. Somewhere not far away from him a light flashed. Tobacco smoke then spread through the room, a smell which seemed to revive him somewhat. He raised his head to catch a whiff of the smoke, his eyes followed the trickle of water in the corner of the room up to where the wall met the sloping ceiling. The more he looked upwards, the less prints of bare feet could be seen on the dingy whitewashed surface. He stretched his neck a little as if to open the pores of his weakened body to the fresh air which had entered the room through the open door. But this time, all he got was thicker smoke which smothered him like a fist of cotton wool. He took a deep breath, inhaling smoke into the depths of his lungs, and now felt the shooting pain all the more.
The person who entered the room, or one of them, then departed. The door closed and the fresh air was gone. But the tobacco smoke became more and more intense. He could hear various steps in the distance once again, way behind his back. There were two of them, or perhaps three. Yet, no one spoke a word and, although it was not absolutely still in the room, silence reigned heavily, as if beside a pond of stagnant water. The tobacco smoke brushed against his eyelashes. It singed them ever so slightly, calling for tears that had long gone dry. One of his fingers moved. He cast his eyes down at the bruised and blackened hands which were folded over his tightly pressed together knees. He endeavoured to move his fingers, but to no avail. They remained flat and unmoveable, like pieces of meat glued to his naked knees. Further down towards his bare feet, he saw his toenails, discoloured and far too long. Under the little toe of his left foot was a pool of dried blood which had formed around him. Its dark ruddy hue, now with a tinge of pale yellow, made him quiver and struck a nerve on the ridge of his foot. The involuntary movement broke the crust on the recently coagulated blood, causing it to move - the snail which had taken refuge in the slimy shadow of his battered body. It moved.
"We always lean them against the wall. Why did we leave this one on the floor here turned over?" someone asked. Was it the one who had remained in the room, or the echo of the other one who had just gone out? "Why don't we just get rid of him?" intoned the voice with the sentence he had heard so often recently. So there were two of them, or perhaps three or more. The cigarette smoke became thicker and filled his lungs.
"Let him shit his pants first," said one of them. The first, second or third of them.
In fact he had just pissed his pants full and the sentence suddenly made him aware of the strong burning sensation he had felt between his thighs, drenched with the sticky, salty urine. Perhaps he could move a little, just raise himself up enough to unstick the material from his bruised thighs. No, he wasn't allowed to. All movements were strictly watched, or to put it more exactly, forbidden. And thus he lay, cramped in the position he was in. Not daring to move his eyes from the pool of blood, he stared at a drop of urine which glided down his shinbone until it came to rest. The footstool with its wicker seat, crooked and shaky as it was, would betray any movement, so he had to keep his balance, remain immobile. But this presented no great difficulty because his body was stiff now anyway.
The door opened again and someone entered the room. Or someone left. He couldn't tell the difference. At a distance behind his back he could hear whispering but could not distinguish what was being said. They seemed to have reached an agreement. Perhaps something was going to happen. He listened attentively and endeavoured to understand what had taken place. He heard paper and something like the scratching of a pencil. It sounded as if someone was signing a document, a signature at the end of a decree. An order had possibly come and they had to fill out forms or sign declarations. A badly worded sentence had been crossed out or a new one had to be added. They had reconsidered the matter.
He seemed to hear someone say: "Why don't we chain him to the wall?"
The glistening snail bathed in its slime had advanced somewhat. It had now reached the corner of the room, near the lower, dark-coloured part of the wall where the footprints were the clearest. It was the only point which shone in the dark. Its shell rose like a Tower of Babel over the rotten floorboards which held back some of the moisture oozing down the wall through the mildew. It advanced slowly, shining like a glowworm under a spiral vault and without paying the slightest attention to what was happening around it. It was a volute among a thousand scarabs from some distant sphere, slithering forth in the ubiquitous mould and dampness, the sweat of the world, through nettles and over cold stones. But what was this gastropodous hermaphrodite doing here in front of his aching eyes? From what dark hole had it emerged? And in what filthy corner of the wall did it intend to lay its eggs, only to become the ancestor to generations of such beings slithering about in the very same filth, with the very same persistence and eternal patience, leaving behind them glowing trails, rays of slime betraying the paths taken, constantly inseminating, fertilizing itself and then depositing in the wall, from out of the right side of its head, the fruit of its hope?
In the slanting ceiling above him, right over the scarlet wounds on his now shaven skull, there was a tiny window which was never opened. The angle at which the rays of light fell upon the wall enabled him to tell the time of day, even to the exact hour on occasion. Now in the late afternoon, the rays fell obliquely through the window so that the light was at the very level of his eyes. It was like a shining white rectangle in which all the filth, stains and streaks on the damp wall had miraculously vanished. This surface of light which stemmed from and seemed to belong to another world was like a fairy tale garden with terrifying decorations and ornaments made of peeling whitewash, filth, fingerprints and footprints, remnants of thousands of other lives right in front of him, constantly changing. There was almost no movement on the white surface. It was pure magic, a surrealist world of dreams and illusions, pure and unadorned, but containing all the hidden structures and impressions of a white painting in a frame. There, he could see his own little world, and projected all of his dreams into it. There he called to mind everything real which he had not believed, or everything believed which had not been real. He could cast flashes of light, bolts of lightning, magic sparkles at it, transforming it into a thousand hues even more resplendent, otherwise hidden from his sombre world.
The officer then entered the room, accompanied perhaps by someone else. One of them, at any rate, held a higher rank because he could sense the unease and hear the shifting movements in the little room. There was a clack of heels and then silence, broken at last by the officer with his rough and ominous voice
Silence once more, and then the officer spoke out again:
"Has he moved?"
"No," was the reply.
"Is he still holding out?" he asked again.
"Yes," came the answer.
"Has he been groaning?" he asked.
"Yes," they responded.
"Doesn't matter."
He could hear footsteps. Probably an inspection. The crack which accompanied the footsteps probably stemmed from the whip which the officer was wont to beat in the palm of his hand all day long.
"It stinks in here," he said.
"Let's set him against the other wall," someone proposed.
"He's not allowed to," was the frigid and sullen reply.
"He can't see much."
"Why do we lean all of them against the wall and this one with his face to it?"
"That's what the order says."
"Yes, sir."
The officer left the room, beating the whip in the palm of his hand as usual. The steps echoed behind him in the little room. Perhaps the others had left the room, too. One of them, two or three.
For a long while he could hear only his own light breathing. He felt the biting pain in his ribs. Neither the big maps and pictures he had observed on the wall in front of him, nor the footprints, nor the traces left by the raindrops trickling in through the window down the wall through the mildew and the mould would be able to help him. It was evening now. His bones were awake and his wounds had opened. Only the trail left by the snail glistened now on the sombre surface of the wall. The shell carried on upwards towards the ceiling, towards the shining window which had now grown dark, and towards the sun which had most certainly gone down by now.
In the shadow of his bare right foot, a little spider was silently weaving a web by attaching colourless strands between his foot and the wall. The web stretched to the leg of the stool. But he was too weary to watch it. His neck had become a rusty, ungreased axle. He watched the last drops of urine trickling down his thighs, causing the dry skin to itch. He saw the spider from the corner of his eye as it, unconcerned, continued to spin its web, a home built to last a thousand years. Given the state his body was in, it would at least be able to enjoy part of its retirement there.
The shining patch on the wall had vanished. There was darkness everywhere. Behind his back he heard a slight cough, enough to remind him of the presence of the night watchman.
Night had fallen, just as it had so often before. The shining patch on the wall was gone and forgotten, and all the stains had vanished. No footprints could be seen and no noise was to be heard. The pain in his ribs had returned with a vengeance, as had the burning sensation in his chest, the ache in his back and the numb feeling in his legs. The wall had closed in upon him, like the curtain at the end of a play before the lights in the theatre went on. The glistening snail had probably retreated into its shell or continued to march up the infinitely long wall in search of the sun.
Another day rose behind his back. The curtain opened and the performance began anew. The maps, the trickling water, the stains, the footprints, the lines and traces left over in the peeling whitewash appeared once again. The number of footprints had increased, or his eyesight, which had been weakened by the long night, could only see the part of the wall where they were most prevalent. What was definitely new was the network of slimy trails which the snail had left behind it during the night. And it was quite substantial. The wall now looked like the roof of a tent made of coarsely woven silk. Perhaps the poor snail had lost its way in the moonless night, or the setting of the sun had confused its sense of orientation. But nothing seemed to have stopped it. It covered the whole surface of the wall and was now stationary in the middle, unmoved, right at the level of his eyes. It was exhausted or was perhaps stopping momentarily to gather strength.
The shining rectangle was now somewhere behind his back. The light would later fall obliquely over his body and cast the shadow of his torso down towards his feet, reminding him of the paintings of Francis Bacon. Later, the rays would fall on his knees and on the lower, filthiest part of the wall, before they gradually rose towards the top and brought another day to its inevitable conclusion. But today, there was something new: the network of trails which the snail had left behind glistening in the sun's rays like filigree, had almost blinded his sight. It was so beautiful that it made him forget the shooting pain in his ribs and the wounds which covered his body. He could hardly hear the noise and the shuffling of feet behind his back. The breeze which wafted over him every time someone entered or left the room, the tobacco smoke, and the noise of papers and documents were all now insignificant, were no longer part of his world. The rectangle of light, now right in front of his eyes, sparkled like a waterfall of emeralds and diamonds. The light fractured into a whole spectrum and created one picture after another. In the corner, the snail, now revived, set forth on its definitive, straight and unimpeded course towards the sunlight. The rays of light wandered upwards and forced him to raise his head a little. All the while, the usual words were being exchanged behind his back:
"Is he holding out?"
"Has he moved?"
"Any groaning?"
"No matter..."
Behind him, too, were footsteps shuffling back and forth, the beating of a whip in the palm of the officer's hand, the draught when the door opened, the smell of tobacco, a coming and going. Back and forth, paper and the scratching noise of a pencil. Steps, more steps. Someone came into the room, then another, a third. One of them went out and one came back in.
"Why do we lean all the others against the wall and this one with his face to it?" another one asked.
"Why don't we put him out of his misery?"
"I want him to shit his pants in horror first,"
The usual, insignificant conversation. The drops of urine had dried up. No more followed. His breathing slowed down. He lay unmoved. The crooked and shaky footstool with its wicker seat and no back made no more noise, and the white rectangle with the bedazzling, glistening trails left behind by the snail filled him with new joy. He did not know when he had last eaten. Sure that he would hold out, he became awesomely courageous as he lay in front of the eternal wall.
"Kill me! What are you waiting for?" he might have said, had he had the strength. But it was of no importance. Beyond the glistening trails there was no more wall left. He felt something glide over his neck, something which gave him new strength and energy. He plunged into the silken cords, into the blinding light, and sank. Further and further he fell. What floor was he on now? From what heaven had he come? He could feel no ground under him.
[Marshi i kėrmillit drejt dritės sė diellit from the volume Marshi i kėrmillit, Peja: Dukagjini, 1994, p. 123-133. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie

Postuar nė: 19.10.2007, 15:54
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Tėrė kohėn flas :)

Posti: Antarė
Postime: 149
Antari Nr: 8745
Bashkangjitur: 03.08.2007

Eqrem Basha eshte dhe do te mbetet nje vlere e rralle e letersis shqiptare she asaj kombetare.Kam lexuar dhe romain e tij "Alpinisti" qe lexohet me nje frym dhe te ngjallet nje kenaqsi e rralle.Gje qe e ofron stili i shkrimtarit dhe aftesia e tij per te shkruar.
Nuk parapelqej dicka tek ne si forumnist, nese behet fjale per artist askush nuk jep mendimet, edhe nese japin jane shume te rralle kurse nese hapim per partit dicka, te gjithe vrapojn te shkruajn dicka.Sikur te jete ajo dicka paresore dhe me rendesi.

Fjalet e keqedashesit jane si qymyri, qe edhe po s' te dogjen , te nxijne.

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