Poetry of Migration, con’td


Today, I offer you  some more poetry from   A New Map: The Poetry of Migrant Writers in Italy  , edited by Mia Lecomte and Luigi Bonaffini.

In this selection, Albanian writer Gezim Hajdari’s poetry   speaks of the necessity of reinvention in every new place the migrant may find him or herself.  What is real?  How do we build a bridge from where we come from and where our feet, out of necessity , find themselves?   How can one continue to become someone new over and over again? How forgiving are our adopted lands of memories that haunt, that nostalgia that holds the heart hostage?  Gezim Hajdari has been a political exile in Italy since 1992.  Recurring themes in his work are journeys  and solitude.  These poems have been translated from the Italian by Michael Palma.

Quanto Siamo Poveri (How Poor We Are)

How poor we are

I in Italy living hand to mouth

You in our homeland do without ,drink  a black coffee

Our crime: we love

Our sentence :living alone divided

By dark water

I’ll come back in the call like Constantine

In our native hills have already gathered the oregano

That I’ll bring with me to my still empty room

Now I’m living in place of myself

far away from that land that pitilessly

devours its own children

With my nights bor of your days

I’ll arrive at your dry borders

I , survivor of dictatorships

of the disregard of every liberty

I’ll knock at you as at a holy city

forbidden to infidels.

Ogni Giorno Creo Una Nuova Patria (Every Day I Establish a New Country)

Every day I establish a new country

where I die and am reborn

a country with no maps or flags

on famous for your deep eyes

that follow me all the time

in my journey toward fragile heavens

in every land I go to sleep in love

in every residence I wake newborn

this key of mine can open every lock

and the doors of every dark prison

endless returns and partings my existence

from flame to flame from water to water

the anthem of my countries the blackbird song

that I sing in all seasons of the waning moon

risen from you brow of dark starts

with the eternal will of the sun god.

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