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Duska Vrhovac
Pertenece a la Directiva

Viceprésidente - Europe

Ambassadrice - Serbie


Duska Vrhovac, writer, journalist and translator, born in 1947 in Banja Luka, ex Yugoslavia. She graduated the Faculty of Philology of Belgrade University. She has worked in various media and has worked with major newspapers. She has been editor of radio and television broadcasts. A journalist by profession, at the highest level of professional qualifications, she left her job with the RTS [Radio Television of Serbia] and then to work as a writer and freelance journalist. She lives in Belgrade, Serbia. 
She has published 16 books of poetry many of which have been translated, in part or in full, in 16 languages [English, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian...] and she is considered one of the famous contemporary poets from Serbia. Present in anthologies devoted to world-class poets. She has received important awards for poetry and the gold badge \\\'for the generosity, dedication, perseverance and creative contributions that are made in his time worked to spread the culture of the nationalities of the Republic of Serbia.\\\' Participated in numerous meetings, festivals and literary events, journalistic and scientific conferences at home and abroad.

Published poetry books:
San po san [Dream By Dream], Nova knjiga, Beograd, 1986
S dusom u telu [With a Soul in a Body] Novo delo, Beograd, 1987
Godine bez leta[Years Without Summer], Knjizevne novine i Grafos, 
Beograd, 1988
Glas na pragu[Voice on Threshold], Grafos, Beograd, 1990
I Wear My Shadow Inside Me, Forest Books, London, 1991
[translated from the Serbian: Richard Burns with Vera Radojević]
S obe strane Drine [On Both Sides of the Drina River], Zaduzbina Petar Kočić, Banja Luka, 1995
Zeđ na vodi [Thirst on Water], Srempublik, Beograd, 1995
Blagoslov - stosest pesama o ljubavi 
[BLESSING - onehundredandsix poems of love], metalograf, Trstenik, 1996
Zeđ na vodi, drugo dopunjeno izdanje [Thirst on Water, second revised edition], Srempublik, Beograd, 1997
Izabrane i nove pesme [Selected and New Poems], Prosveta, Beograd, 2002
Zalog [Forfeit], Ljubostinja, Trstenik, 2003
Operacija na otvorenom srcu [Surgery on the open heart], Alma, Beograd 2006
Za sve je kriv pesnik/ The blame is always the poet /, independent electronic edition, 2007
Moja Desanka [My Desanka], Beograd, 2008
Urođene slike/Immagini innati [bilingual edition], Smederevo, 2010




Poets are a gang,
pretending nomads,
indecisive interpreters
of banalities and eternity.
They are useless seekers,
intemperate lovers,
hunters of lost words,
the spies of roads and seas.

Poets are vain gardeners
of overgrown royal gardens,
vanguards of star derailments,
messengers of sunken ships,
desecrators of secret paths,
crafty repairers of the Ursa Major
and the Ursa Minor,
collectors оf astral dust.

Poets are thieves of illusions,
troubadours of rejected utopias,
seducers of any kind,
tasters of poisoned food,
prodigal sons and professional seducers,
heroes which spontaneously
put their heads at the guillotine
at which they are also executioners.

Poets are the crowned guardians
of language\\\'s proper being,
lovers of unsolvable mysteries,
charlatans and pimps.
They are the favourites of gods,
tasters of magic drinks,
and crazy squanderers
of their own lives.

Poets are the last offshoots
of the most delicate sort of cosmic beings,
cultivators of the soul\\\'s white flowers,
unreliable creators of untenable worlds.
Poets are interpreters of lost signs,
carriers of important messages,
a warning that Life is endless
and Universe an unfinished project.

Poets are fireflies on the junkyard of the Cosmos,
conquerors of the colourful rainbow belt
and performers of the holy music
of the cosmic birth.
Poets are invisible companions
in the silence of sense and absurdity
of all the visible and the invisible.
Poets are my only, true brothers.


Los poetas son una banda,
de pretendientes nómades,
intérpretes infieles
de insipidez y eternidad.
Son buscadores inútiles,
amantes inmoderados,
cazadores de palabras perdidas
y espías de los caminos y de las aguas.

Los poetas son jardineros arrogantes
de jardines reales cubiertos de hierba,
vanguardia de desviaciones estelares,
mensajeros de barcos hundidos,
reveladores de vías secretas,
mecánicos artesanales de la Osa mayor
y de la Osa menor,
recolectores de polvo astral.

Los poetas son ladrones de ilusiones,
inventores de utopías rechazadas,
tramposos de baja estofa,
probadores de comida envenenada,
hijos promiscuos y seductores de fama,
héroes que espontáneamente
ponen su cabeza en la guillotina
donde son ellos mismos los ejecutores

Los poetas son guardias coronados
del ser de la lengua,
amantes de misterios insolubles,
charlatanes y alcahuetes.
Ellos son predilecciones elegidas de Dios,
catadores de bebidas mágicas
y derrochadores ociosos
de sus propias vidas.

Los poetas son los últimos vástagos
de la especie más sutil de seres cósmicos,
cultivadores de las flores más nobles del alma
y creadores no fiables de mundos insostenibles.
Los poetas son intérpretes de señales prescritas,
recaderos de mensajes importantes
advertencia de la infinitud de la vida
y del proyecto incompleto del universo.

Los poetas son luciérnagas en el vertedero del cosmos,
vencedores de los colores del arco iris
y compositores de santa música del nacimiento cósmico.
Los poetas son camaradas etéreos
en el silencio del sentido y el disparate
de todo lo visible e invisible.
Los poetas son mis verdaderos hermanos.

Duska Vrhovac

For Nikola

When a child dies
it\\\'s wrong to weep
everi sob
and tear
are far too loud
for the womb
it nestled in
when a child dies
no star falls
but climbs higher
climbs forever
on its damned
starry way.



Pour Nikola

Quand un enfant meurt,
On a tort de pleurer !
Chaque sanglot,
Chaque larme
Sont bien trop lourds
Pour les entrailles
Où il s\\\'est blotti.
Quand un enfant meurt,
Aucune étoile ne tombe,
Elle monte plus haut,
Monte toujours
Sur sa maudite
Voie étoilée.

Duska Vrhovac
Traduit en français par Athanase Vantchev de Thracy
Paris – France
Décembre 2010


Fifty years, fifty summers,
you have lain here, my Isidora,
knitting moonlight in Topčider Cemetery,
your arms full of rains,
your face covered by handfuls of earth,
surrounded by swarms of glow-worms,
glimmering guardians of crucified light.

You still lie alone, dreaming
of a white room, and a bed
too wide for your own body
too narrow for longing.

I often call on you here
to pay my respects from afar
yet would not disturb the wing of a swallow
perching on your shoulder.

It is late afternoon
in a time
whe we stagger from exhaustion
and give up the ghost.

I see you pass
down the flagstone pavement
down the crooked path
of the last ray of light.

For an instant, as if by chance,
you turn and glance back:
Serbs do not like intelligent women.
They respect them, but do not love them.

Fifty years, fifty summers,
you have passed here, my Isidora,
knitting moonlight in Topčider Cemetery,
and your fellow travellers
pass through the room where I write
to touch my forehead with a cold hand,
pausing to scrawl, on the same prescription,
their cure for fever, their poison for the soul.

Translators\\\' note
The poem is dedicated to Isidora Sekulić [1887-1958], one of Yugoslavia\\\'s foremost twentieth-century women writers, who is buried in the cemetery in Topčider Park, on the outskirts of Belgrade. Born in Mosorin, Vojvodina, Isidora Sekulić was a distinguished linguist and scholar whogratuated from the Sorbonne and Budapest and obtained her doctoral degree in Germany. She worked as a maths teacher in several Serbian towns, and eventually in Belgrade, living modestly and alone. She wrote fiction, travel books and essays, was devoted to her country\\\'s people and traditions, and translated extensively, especially from English. A reference is made in the poem to her collection of short stories, \\\'Fellow travellers\\\'.

© Duska Vrhovac
[Translated from the Serbian by Richard Burns]


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