A Woman’s Blouse

It’s getting dark. And in the west somebody’s foot has tipped over a wine jug, pouring it all over the horizon. The new moon looks like the horns of the helmet in which Moses appears in movies. Pines smell of lemons and incense mingled. A soldier, tall and brittle like a rye stalk, is doing sentry duty. Brittle with love  []

The Hilt

A man who has never known suffering cannot be self-reliant, nor can he recognize his own value. —Joseph de Maistre We who passed through the siege of Sarajevo shall, of course, gain nothing. An experience that will serve no purpose: as if you lost your arms and won a violin, as Rasko would say. You can’t even tell others about  []


Something has changed between me and people since I became a parent to one of them. – Paul Claudel I’m running home with my little daughter – again, shells have surprised us on the street. Shells have, for centuries, been falling every day, and every time they surprise us. I’m hurrying her on with angry words: transferring my rage from  []

Grave, Cavern

O, Arabic writing, you are full of curved Sabers and crescent moons. There are no more dragons in the Ropušnica Cavern But the treasure is also gone upon which they once lay Through here, who knows when, The conquerors rode their horses, And even now, we still sneeze from the dust That their hooves Disturbed. And where has it gone  []

Stillness and Solitude of Woods

It is a stillness and solitude from which perhaps God begins Green and blue they are like polar ice The stillness and solitude one can find only in a soul that, Having just torn itself from its flesh and, delivered from the world’s Evil, is looking upon the earthly globe from above With the eyes of an eagle. It is  []

Commentary On “A Word About Man”

The introductory cycle in The Stone Sleeper consists of five poems under the common title of “A Word About Man,” but since each of these poems treats the same motifs in the same way, we can also read them as a single poem in five sections. The key to these lines [in “First”] is to be found in the play  []

“Emina”: Text and Context of a Poem

I will approach the poem from the angle of language. If we listen closely enough, we will hear an arrhythmia in the language, i.e., an alternation of two opposing or colliding voices. In the first stanza, the language is clean, poetic, with a touch of solemnity: one balanced sentence stretches through four lines, with rhyming Turkisms, i.e., in the privileged  []

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  []

Girl’s Blouse

It’s getting dark, and in the west someone’s foot Has knocked over a jug of wine, pouring it all over the horizon. The new moon looks like horns on a helmet in which, in films, Moses is shown. Pines smell of a mixture of lemons and incense A soldier, long and brittle like a rye stalk, is doing sentry duty.  []

Says Rebecca West

After the Balkan War, the Turks suddenly left, but the hatred remained. Now it’s exploding in Bosnia. The hatred endures, although its subject has evaporated. The human soul has always lagged behind the world. The soul is a whirlpool mirroring in winter the cranes flown south in autumn. For five centuries the Turks were their guests. And they left overnight.  []

In the Evening You Lie Down in Bed

and you know you are lying down in vain: tomorrow you will get up still more enervated than when you lay down. In the morning you get up from bed and you know that you are getting up in vain: yesterday’s day is awaiting you, with yesterday’s stress. With the humiliations of the day before yesterday. With the despair of  []