Saturday, April 30, 2016

GloPoWriMo Day 30

The Start and Finish Line of the "Inishowen 100" Scenic Drive

It is the last day of GloPoWriMo. Our challenge today was to translate a poem. This is the first time I have tried my hand at poetry translation and I have chosen Critique of the Metaphor by my favourite Serbian poet, Branko Miljkovic. But before that I wanted to write a poem of my own on this last day of our poetry challenge. It is a found poem which has been patched together from various translations of Serbian poetry I found online. The sources will be listed underneath.

Public Domain,

Mining for Silver

This morning I have forgotten a song.
The song I kept hearing through my dream all night,
Through the midnight air and densely woven trees.
In Maydan where they mine the purest silver
dream is an ancient and forgotten truth
that no one can verify anymore.
I seek mercy
for the simple and guileless,
Oh, my sunny ancestry, that sunken blood.
The little box which contains the world,
She has no one but the Sun and me.
This is indeed the greatest love poem,
yet there is not a word about love.
Nothing is lost in fire
it has only been interpreted.

Here are my sources: Vladislav Petkovic Dis, "She Sleeps Perhaps", translated by Rajko Maksimovic Djura Jaksic, "Through the Midnight Air", translator unknown, "Musicic Stephan" (Serbian Epic Poem), translated by John Matthias and Vladeta Vuckovic Branko Miljkovic, "Everyone Will Write Poetry", translated by Aleksandra Milanovic
Desanka Maksimovic, "For Those who Stumble over the Treshold", translator unknown Branko Miljkovic, "Dis", Translated by Gavrilo Dosen Vasko Popa, "Last News about the Little Box", translated by Charles Simic Branko Miljkovic, "Ode to the Fire", translated by Aleksandra Milanovic Miroslav Antic, "The Greatest Love Poem", translator unknown Vasko Popa, "The Rose Thieves", translated by Anne Pennington Vasko Popa, "No Final", translated by Charles Simic Vasko Popa, "Give Me Back My Rags", translated by Charles Simic

And now, my translation followed by the Serbian original by Branko Miljkovic.


Critique of the Metaphor

Two words touch as soon as they are said
And melt into unknown meaning
Which has nothing to do with either of them
Because there is only one word on the brain
And a poem is only written so
That that word wouldn’t have to be said
That’s how words teach each other
That’s how words invent each other
That’s how words lead each other astray
And a poem is a string of blinded words
But their love is more than obvious
They feed off your complacency
They get more beautiful, the more powerless you are
And when all your energy has drained off when you die
People say: damn, he wrote such great poetry
And no one is suspicious of the word you never said.

Kritika metafore

Dve reči tek da se kažu dodirnu se
I ispare u nepoznato značenje
Koje s njima nikakve veze nema
Jer u glavi postoji jedna jedina reč
A pesma se piše samo zato
Da ta reč ne bi morala da se kaže
Tako reči jedna drugu uče
Tako reči jedna drugu izmišljaju
Tako reči jedna drugu na zlo navode
I pesma je niz oslepljenih reči
Ali je ljubav njihova sasvim očigledna
One žive na račun tvoje komotnosti
Sve su lepše što si nemoćniji
A kad iscrpeš sve svoje snage kad umreš
Ljudi kažu: bogamu kakve je taj pesme pisao
I niko ne sumnja u reč koju nisi rekao.

GloPoWriMo Day 30


  1. You went to a lot of trouble here and I appreciate it. It has been lovely sharing a month with you. Only now I am getting to read some I may have missed.

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, this was probably the biggest challenge of all. The "patchwork poem" took ages and the translation made me lose one whole night of sleep.
      Thank you for all your support this month. I also intend to visit more blogs in the days to come. It is very hard to write a poem a day and post comments to other people's blogs. So, I'll try to do it now.