The day and sky above,
In their proper places.
A neat image for survival.
It’s good, I say, It’s good.
Bones under the ground,
A table on the ground,
A fruit bowl on the table.
Grapes and plums.
We’re in the shade of the tree,
Wind in the tree-top, slow, so we can feel its breath.
We do not watch the root,
We do not wish to feel darkness.
Somewhere snows are melting,
storms blow away roofs,
somebody’s crying over someone’s dead body.
We in front of our house,
sitting at our table,
say: It’s good.
Translated from the Bosnian by Zvonimir Radeljković.
Senka Marić Šarić was born in Mostar in 1972.
She graduated from Faculty of Humanities in Mostar, majoring in performing arts and performing arts’ education. At present, she is enrolled in the graduate program of comparative literature at Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo.
She published two collections of poems: From Here to Nowhere (1997) and These Are Just Words (2005), both published by the publishing house Rondo, in Mostar.
In the year 2000, she won the first prize in the literary competition “Zija Dizdarević” for the short story “The Story of the Heart.”
She has published her work in the literary magazines Bridge, Faces, Album, and Life. She writes both poetry and fiction, and also translates works from the English language. She is a member of the Writers’ Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and of the Literary Club from Mostar.
In the European competition for the knight of poetry, which includes poets from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Slovenia, she won the first prize in the final competition in Maribor, Slovenia, in November 2013, and was awarded a wrought iron rose, 1000 Euros, and the title of European Poetry Knight. The following are excerpts from the international jury’s citation:
“Senka Marić Šarić’s poem is subtle, wise, and sublime. She succeeded to ‘grow to simplicity,’ as the Greek poet Jorgos Seferis would have put it. The lyric subject of the poem is at the same time an observer and an emotional participant, distant and close to the poem’s content, and permanently separated from the hard historical and political events, which can be surmised from the poem. “It’s good,” says the poetess, describing at the same time in quiet and restrained words both life’s horror and beauty. Senka Marić Šarić does not reject the personal and emotional involvement in the poem. She does not draw parallels, but simply juxtaposes two sets of poetic images. Something unusual is happening in this poem. What was never said suddenly attains shape: here is no politics, no war, but it is hard not to think of misfortunes that these two cause – one can feel how poetic mastery builds tension in this poem. The poem also has a foundation in the cultural traditions of Europe: one cannot neglect the reference to the Arcadian gardens which, never mind how idyllic, always contain death. The message of this poem is: “Seize the day! Enjoy the fragile happiness between two misfortunes. Enjoy survival while you can, since we have the kind of hope that remains when there is no hope.”
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