Stevka Smitran / Bosnia
Stevka Smitran was born in Bosanska Gradiska a town in Bosnia-Erzegovina where she spent her childhood and this is considered the crucial event of her biography and poetry. She graduated in Belgrade and then she moved to Italy. Beside being a poet, she translates texts, writes essays and professor at the University of Teramo. She has published numerous essays on Slavic poetry (Serbian, Croatian, Russian, Macedonian); she has translated and introduced the works of Ivo Andric, Miodrag Pavlovic and other authors to the Italian public. She has won the Calliope Prize (1996) for the translation of the Antologia della poesia dell’ ex Yugoslavia (Anthology of the ex-Yugoslavian Poetry).
She has published the following collections of poems: in 2000 Slavica (1966-1999) in Serbo-Croatian; Le mie cose (Moje stvari) (My things), 2003, a bilingual collections in Italian-Serbo-Croatian; Italica e oltre (Italica and beyond) (2004), Dall’ impero (From empire) (2007) and Le ciglia d’ Oriente (Oriental Eyelashes) (2013) in Italian. She published a history book Uskoks. Pirates, rebels, warriors among the Ottoman, Habsburg Empires and the Republic of Venice.
Her poems can be found in many anthologies in Italy and in other countries.
She has instituted the International “NordSud” Prize in Literature and Science with Pescarabruzzo Foundation. In 2007 she received the recognition Great Women of the 21st Century American Biographical Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina.
A DAY WITH NO NEWS
This is a day with no news
because yesterday’s still holds
when they called me a foreigner
and asked me what ethnic group
I belong to
I answered – to my ancestor’s –
the umpteenth waste of explanations
the icing sugar of the language of Dante.
In a day with no news
two cherry trees in my garden have bloomed,
scented barbarian gems
RETURNING HOME AFTER A YEAR
I return home after a year
on the wounded hall carpet of my footsteps
the tenacity of the darkness presses down
I walk carefully not to break
even though I know everything has now disappeared
the grieving front door only just opens,
nothing good to hope for
the glistening cobweb.
The staircase leads to no encounter,
the loneliness of paintings
no-one will look at any longer,
the clothes in the wardrobes –
a false pretence.
Everything is as still as in the photograph,
your bed – the hull of a ship
between the water and the air –
between life and death
this is where your firm voice begged me:
«Take everything you like
and what you don’t like
and take it away with you».
Only meagre thoughts fall
from the ceiling like icicles
and move from one room to another:
«Don’t let yourself be imprisoned by anything except what you say,
only the dreams you follow are real».
The plates here are washed with tears
the mirrors betray
the image of your absence,
the mirrors flatter me.
My voice calls you out of habit
and is lost in the thread of your embroidery.
On my eyelids the dew of the house
the only gift no one can give me.
If you want me
I will know how to love your gentle wisdom
I will know how to wrap you up in streaks of cirrus clouds
I will know how to astonish you in the banquet of appearances
I will know how to comfort you on the scented cushion
you will sleep with raving metaphors
you will sleep with lit fires
if you want me
you will see in a single moment what no-one ever saw
you will see the light intoxicating my pupils
and offer you my silvery scent
if you want me
I will invite you to the dance of my dreams
I will invite you to walk barefoot on my wounds
you will see everything without remembering anything
and no-one will know where we have been hiding
let me know
If you want me,
let me know.
[a Paolo Di Stefano]
Amico, non importa se conosco
solo la tua voce
nell'attimo che ho scelto per chiamarti
ora nel ricordo ringrazio il tuo bel dire.
Amico, non importa che conosci
solo le mie fore
all'istante con me condivise
nel talamo del flavo universo.
Amico, i fioretti tuoi latini
son già nella memoria slava,
quel che accade ci somiglia tanto.
Sconosciuti amo i vostri nomi
Siamo avvinti senza conoscerci
senza recitare lo stesso padrenostro
senza date né appuntamenti prefissati
è ora l'attimo esatto del nostro incontro
un'estate che sa di meringa
un'estate d'occidente di processione
nella terra dei fauni dove visse il divino Erode Attico.
La nostra terra sono le parole
attraverso le quali i nostri avi salutano l'avvenire
le nostre parole uscite dalle feritoie
le nostre parole ricavate dalle petraie
le nostre parole levigate dal pudore
per il sangue profumato
per il sangue putrefatto
nel nostro sangue si crogiola la lingua
chi è poeta ovunque sa andare.
Desconhecidos, amo os vossos nomes
Estamos unidos sem nos conhecermos
sem recitar o mesmo rosário
sem datas nem encontros marcados
é agora o instante preciso do nosso encontro
um verão com gosto de suspiro
um verão do Ocidente em procissão
na terra dos faunos onde viveu o divino Herodes.
A nossa terra são as palavras
com elas nossos ancestrais saúdam o futuro
as nossas palavras lançadas das seteiras
as nossas palavras extraídas da pedreira
as nossas palavras polidas pela vergonha
do sangue perfumado
do sangue putrefato
no nosso sangue se confunde a língua
quem é poeta onde quer que esteja sabe mover-se.