Ndue Ukaj (1977) is an Albanian writer, publicist and literary critic. His poems have been included in several anthologies of poetry, in Albanian, and other languages. He has published several books, including “Godo is not coming”, which won the national award for best book of poetry published in 2010 in Kosovo. He has also won the award for best poems in the International Poetry Festival in Macedonia and another prize. His poems and texts are translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish and Chinese. Ukaj is member of Swedish PEN.
Through dreams makes love with Penelope,
The road to Ithaca is longer than its distance
Between the dream and reality … where the tired vision
Explodes in search of Ithaca
And returned to the word in the traditional nest.
At the swamp full of memories
Where their roses are falling apart
And take the color of Autumn. Tragically
I stepped over them, just as in lost grounds.
Without a brake opens its minimized eyes
Its tired eyes, faded from the endless search.
In trouble he is descending the stairs of memory
And opens the pages of nostalgia. Full of passion.
In the roads of the world is crises-crossed his confused search.
While with nostalgia is searching a small place to take a break
Nervous from the tempted cruiser of life
In the waves of memory dissolved just as the Sun dew.
Odyssey died in antiquity.
In the lap of Penelope is relaxing
With the mountain of memories that are fading,
Every time that Troy is burned.
And Penelope in the window is drawing the reception.
Welcome as large as longevity
And the letters of this poetry
Extending their voice up in the sky.
A Girl reading the Divine Comedy
She walks alone in a dense forest
In an obscure forest she walks alone and
Searches the invisible tracks,
After a stormy rain
Before the oak trees, wolves’ screams
And a love that strangles her in a chest.
Sometimes twisted after a tall oak tree
And at times lay down on a wet grass.
There is no boyfriend’s hand that would cut her hair
Is wearing over her shoulder a colourful scarf
And carries in her hand the Divine Comedy
Her hair entwines like sea waves
Then between her pretty breasts embraces the Comedy,
While searching the road of return nearby the shadow of a tree
Where she lay down for the first time,
Before entering in the forest of solitude
With the “Divine Comedy” in her hands,
She wrenches the dream for the unknown victory
That is awaiting now and before.
He has only questions, his answers so very timid
In dirty pockets with concreted nostalgia.
He has only memories that surround his neck
Like the millstone they shake him one step forward and a few backward,
While caressing in torrential waterfall,
And kidnapping the time which he never sees.
The time that he only dreams in endless nights.
He is not one of those below the sky full of storms,
Where he walks, where he eats, where he makes love and seating.
The fatherland of birds is the sky
Of the fish is the sea
Of the emigrant is sorrow
Which is multiplied like clouds in the turbulent sky.
On the unknown roads, nostalgia shifts
While searching for one amid endless zeroes.
Odyssey’s testament is burning in his hand,
And coal threaten fire; like tropical rays
Toward the missed Ithaca he directs his eyes
And he is exhausted day and night.
He migrates on the roads of sadness
And is covered with the quilt of Promised Land,
And every night dreams the same dream. The return to number one.
While the desert oasis swallows his aspirations, and memories.
Causing deep desperation to the Emigrant.
With the sack of sorrow travels through the roads of hope
Awaiting decisions to become as number one, in the endless zeroes
Every day waits for him the unknown in the forest of desires
Where it is relaxing, the soft vision and the deep meditation.
Like a freezing bird is searching the nest of hope.
And is covered with the quilt of Promised Land.
© Translated from Albanian by Peter Tase
Published with the permission of Ndue Ukaj