No. 2 - Year 14 - 06/2024
Literary Translation

Three Poems (Untitled)

DOI: 10.15291/sic/

I WAS in three languages
and I died in all three of them.

So how come you still speak?

I wound myself around the bodies of three
nations and then I sought an escape.

Then why haven't you yet?

I echoed every poem, every word
three times then I fell silent.

Have you finally forgotten about them,
so you may begin anew?

I entered the hearts of three
women and I devoured each.

What have you done with the bodies?

On my third attempt,
I found myself soaring into the unknown.

When will you cast off every anchor?

I was to three foreign lands
and in each I fell into myself.

Dispersed and bright
you fell into me too.

Yes, I’ve began to grow inside you too,
we’ll do it all over again.


SHE WAS BANISHED: her still body
carried along by the water on its skin.

Having a hard time watching, the sun
pulled back its reflection at once.

Has the darkness come? It
probably has. Followed by a swarm of black flies

aching with desire to fertilize
the world. There was something weightless. It lived

in the water and the water
lived in it.

Then something dropped into water,
sucking the mud

in, swimming for the surface. Has
it surfaced? It
probably has. Followed by a swarm
of black fish aching with desire

to thread the edge, silent
passage into another world.

So who then
was banished? Nobody

was banished. Everything
is pure bliss.


A HOMELAND, well, I did have one,
A language, well, I did speak one,
A neighbor, well, I did have one.

It stared at our backs, like a future memory.
It had taken us to where we didn’t want to go.
We drank wine together, down in the cellar, until we sang.

I climbed up the hill, but it was no longer there.
I went to look for it.
I buried it, but didn’t attend the funeral.

Then I made up a new one, and that one
slipped from me too.
I started stuttering, wrote it down, read it to you.
And you buried me, yet I still
wave at you.

Were it possible, I would’ve told it to come.
I would’ve told it to speak its words for itself.
To be its own neighbor, and language, and homeland:

The one, with whom I drank wine.
The one, whose words I spoke.
The one, which I haven’t made up.

Note About Contributor(s)

Miroslav Kirin

Miroslav Kirin, born in 1965 in Sisak and raised in Petrinja and Slana, is a prominent Croatian poet and translator. He is the author of six volumes of poetry and a novel. He studied English and Comparative Literature in Zagreb. In 1989, he won the Goran Prize for Young Poets, whose past laureates include poets such as Ivana Bodrožić, Miljenko Jergović, and other prominent Croatian poets. Most recently, he won the Goran’s Wreath, an award for lifetime achievement in poetry established in 1971. In 2001, he received the Jutarnji List Award for his autofictional novel Album. He has edited several poetry anthologies, and his poetry and fiction have been translated into Chinese, English, German, Hungarian, Romanian, and Russian. English translations of his poems have appeared in Poetry International Web and Gowanus Books. He lives in Zagreb, where he teaches English at a local secondary school.

Lara Radović

Lara Radović was born in 2002 in Gospić, where she completed her primary and secondary education. She is currently pursuing an MA in Pedagogy and English, specializing in literary translation. Her interests include contemporary Croatian and Anglophone poetry and prose.

Josipa Žerjav

Josipa Žerjav, born in 2001 in Čakovec, is currently pursuing an MA in English Studies (teacher education program) and Pedagogy at the University of Zadar. In her spare time, she actively volunteers with a student organization, assisting international students. Besides her academic and volunteer commitments, Josipa enjoys reading contemporary Anglophone and Croatian prose.