An Old Poem

An Old Poem

By Vladislav Petković Dis

Behind me is many a day and year,
Many a night and hour of despair
Moments of pain, sorrow, sin, shame
And love, hatred, remorse and prayer.

They all lie on a heap of moments
In disarray, strewn within days bygone,
As the past is borne by time’s current
And away peacefully and slowly drawn.

I have no strength to fight against time,
To defend, to preserve, and to not resign,
But I reflect on what I own or what I had:
Then again – no longer is anything mine.

As an odour, as beams, as darkness,
As a wind, as a cloud, as foam,
Separate, days, nights, float and glide
Towards me as memories that roam.

But, when thought and memory cease,
Who will they go to? Will they be near?
My memories, my days, former nights –
Where will they go to and disappear?

Where am I going, if I am, is it a delusion?
What’s ahead of me and what’s gone?
I’ve forsaken what I have not, yet afore lies:

The defunct past by life all covered.
As the future slowly removes the shroud,
It wanes and falls into the past bygone.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Stara pesma

Za mnom stoje mnogi dani i godine,
Mnoge noći i časovi očajanja,
I trenuci bola, tuge, greha, srama
I ljubavi, mržnje, nade i kajanja.

Sve to stoji na gomili trenutaka
U neredu, po prošlosti razbacano,
Dok nju vreme vuče nekud, nekud nosi
I odnosi bez otpora i lagano.

Nemam snage da se borim sa vremenom,
Da odbranim, da sačuvam, ne dam svoje,
Nego gledam čega imam, šta je bilo:
I sve više, ništa više nije moje.

Kao miris, kao zraci, kao tama,
Kao vetar, kao oblak, kao pena,
Odvojeni dani, noći, lebde, kruže
I prilaze u obliku uspomena.

Al’ kad mis’o i sećanje budu stali,
Onda kud će i kome će oni poći?
Onda kud će da iščeznu i da odu
Uspomene, moji dani, bivše noći?

Pa kud idem, da li idem, je l’ opsena?
Ko me roni, koga nosim, pre i sada?
Za mnom stoji čega nemam, a preda mnom

Mrtva prošlost sa životom pokrivena.
Dok budućnost polagano pokrov skida,
Nje nestaje i u prošlu prošlost pada.

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