I, Too, Like Prince Andrey
from a green meadow, wounded, was staring at the sky.
There was nothing for a million miles around.
Yes, miles, as if the immense void that
Roared around me was in fact the open sea.
Stark and boundless. From everything, under the sky,
Only a blind starkness remained that roared brutally.
At first, to be sure, Serb frogs could be heard
In Dobrinja’s ponds. But they soon fell silent.
Oh, wonder of wonders: a chorus of frogs is bidding me farewell
To the other world (I thought, if that could be
Called thinking. For it was my skin that was thinking).
I, too, like Prince Andrey, before death,
suddenly felt that there was nothing
In the world but that immeasurable distance
Above me, and the still more immeasurable distance,
Inside. As if the soul was looking upon itself
From an immensity
Or as if it were looking on its pain after a million summers.
Pain turned into a white waterfall roaring like the spring of the Bosna.
I, too, like Prince Andrey, realized
that nothing matters more
than those distances multiplied with lightning speed.
Seventy-seven immensities, the soul
drinking from each like from the seventy-seven fountains of home,
The world was, all around, ground to powder,
and looked like that
Ruddy column of dust that surges upward
When a shell smashes into someone’s house in Sarajevo.
And I understood that those many distances
Can only come to the good.
And you are happy because, in those distances, you are a tiny wisp,
But a wisp containing all those distances.
And I felt they, those distances, were
Suddenly pouring into me, like Krka Falls near Knin,
But a million times bigger. With a million rainbows
Created in watery dust.
And I listened to those distances rushing to
Cleanse me from the inside, to wash the blood stains in which
The whole world had been dissolved.
Translated by Omer Hadžiselimović – ©2006 Omer Hadžiselimović
The preceding text is copyright of the author and/or translator and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.