Thursday, January 14, 2010

Milan Orlic

Milan Orlich

Milan Orlic's newest poetry book published in October 2009 is named: Longing for Wholeness.

Some translations of poems by Milan Orlic
by Mira Mataric

Zu den Sachen Selbst: The Face of the Matter Itself

Finally, that day came too: before that
I removed
all that was necessary. Added all that,
equally, is
necessary. Here, now, I am looking at the face of the matter
itself. While approaching, I am like falling through the funnel
in which: I am looking at
the beauty of the bare matters’ face: I am plummeting
or dizzily
caving in. Caving in, I almost suffocate.
And when I think
it is the end: my breath suddenly
comes back and rapidly
I mount the stairs: toward the face
of the matter itself.

Zu den Sachen Selbst: Quiet Silence

Outside, from the depth of darkness,
mixed with
slight light, reaches the distant noise
of the City.
The room is covered with quiet silence:
filled with
primeval peace. Missing - only you.

Translated from Serbian Mira N. Mataric, 2009

Zu den Sachen Selbst: Hardly Anything

All has been said before us: left to me is only
to record:
the remaining, in fact, nothing. Hardly anything:
and that which
is the most important. The gentlest or the most
only the face of the matter. From which, out of
the cosmic fog,
came all or almost all: thus, all about which
nothing yet
has been enough, hmm, correctly enough said.

Translated from Serbian Mira N. Mataric, 2009

Zu den Sachen Selbst:
Already Tomorrow, For Sure

A day like any other: the last day,
the one in which we learn all: that
could not
have been known. Never before,
really, it could
have even be suspected. Tomorrow
possibly, I will,
finally, know. Already tomorrow,
perhaps, know,
for sure, this which I cannot even
suspect today.
Tomorrow I will learn, whether
it has perchance
finally arrived, born for me, that
modest day.
Tomorrow already, for sure.

Shrill of the Light Flute

It awakes me, in the middle of the early morning,
shrill of the light
fagot, as if inviting to the joys of hunting, hunting
in the desert.
As if promising for the awakening: camel’s milk
with dates
at noon: in the oasis, under the palms, a shelter
before the dry
and hot hamsin. And in the evening a nourishing
tea. But this
city is an unsung provincial town, an eternal image
of the human soul.
A journal of the sky upon which the most futile
is light of a poetic
star. Before the desert storm rises in which, like
in an old Greek
tragedy, all suffer and no one is guilty: before
that: our hot
daily hamsin freezes blood in our veins. And
a certain quiet
melancholy, like the desert sand penetrates,
deeply penetrates:
into each pore, into each corner of our existence.

Translated into English Mira N. Mataric

Keepers of the Fire: Publish or Perish

While the ocean lovers bathe in the messianic
naïve, like in the ocean of poetry, assured that
for the fire
a large log is sufficient, the fire must be kept
alive: well,
we are those real keepers. It is true we too have
white books,
and in them, black lists: but it must be so. No other
way. For these
black and white crows, for the young lions who
from the old
cellars young wine noisily drink. Holy cows are,
of course,
something completely different. Books we write
with gentle
hands, listening to the tender voices of the holy
cows, the echoes of
silence of their words, housed under the threshold
of hearing.
The spiteful ones call us the gladiators of criticism
but, as I have said,
we are the real keepers of the fire. Thanks mostly
to Us, the eternal
fire is alive. Still practiced the ancient law,
rolling the wheel of the being: publish or perish.

Translated from Serbian Mira N. Mataric, 2009

Milan Orlich
Keeper of the Fire: The Damn Beautiful
Trade of Writing

This is how it had been: writers’ trade damn beautiful,
sometimes perhaps
bitter but only from the outside. It is long, long gone,
the time when
the royal gardener marked the alleys for poets. In his
hands the royal seals
he held. The long winter afternoons in a warm armchair,
with the hot fire
from the fireplace, in the royal palace, he enjoyed .
Openly took pleasure
in the contests for the King’s favors; the competition
of the literary
humpbacks, just escaped from the catacombs which,
at the literary
cemeteries they apathetically inhabited. That time
is gone, long gone
that beautiful time. Or at the tournaments: while they
were arriving
from the faraway kingdoms, for the Princess’s hand,
grace and beauty
to compete. Since our poor King died, the Princess
cheaply sold
for a white slave, with weed and thistle the old royal
garden overgrown,
the writers’ trade is not beautiful anymore: only damned.

Translated from Serbian Mira N. Mataric, 2009.

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