Peonies

Peonies

By Milan Rakić

What a beautiful night! All over the plains,
Down the locusts, mulberries and planes,
In lush golden cascades now richly flows
That ethereal fair moonlight. Over those

Meadows covered by the odorous grain,
Mid the boughs in bloom, o’er the ground
And fields all dark after the pouring rain,
The great soul of the moon sleeps sound.

Peace is all around. The vast field lies so
Quietly where brave troops fell row by row.
Sprouted from the blood of many long ago,
Red and blue, across Kosovo peonies grow.

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

BOŽUR

Kako je lepa ova noć! Gle, svuda,
S topole, rasta, bagrema, i duda,
U mlazevima zlatokosim pada
Nesuštastvena mesečina. Sada,

Nad livadama gde trava miriše,
U rascvetanim granama, svrh njiva
Koje su crne posle bujne kiše,
Velika duša mesečeva sniva.

Sve mirno. Tajac. Ćuti polje ravno
Gde nekad pade za četama četa…
— Iz mnoge krvi izniknuo davno,
Crven i plav, Kosovom božur cveta…

slika1-nadezda

(A Field of Kosovo Peonies by Nadežda Petrović, 1913)

A Blue Coat

A Blue Coat

By Duško Radović

I was wearing my blue coat
When I met Miss Flora Ducote.
Whether for me or my blue coat,
She turned around, Flora Ducote.
“Good evening, Flora”, to her I said,
Let’s take a walk, have no dread…”
Whether for me or my blue coat,
She said yes, Miss Flora Ducote.
Suddenly a barking was heard, yet
I said: “Stick to me, Flora, don’t fret!”
Whether for me or my blue coat,
She stuck to me, Miss Flora Ducote.
It was summer, ripe was the cornfield,
The dog fled and I veered to the field.
Whether for me or my blue coat,
She veered, too, Miss Flora Ducote.
Quite logically, since off I’d veered,
I laid down my coat as she neared.
Whether for me or my blue coat,
She too lay down, Miss Flora Ducote.
The summer was over, years went by,
And we’ve made a home, Flora and I,
For reasons which as sound I qualify,
‘Twas my blue coat or the reason was I.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

PLAVI ŽAKET

Baš sam bio u plavom žaketu
kada sretoh Vasiljević Cvetu.
Da l’ zbog mene, da li zbog žaketa,
prevari se, okrete se Cveta.
Ja joj rekoh:-“Dobar večer, Cveto,
s’ dopuštenjem – malo bih prošeto…”
Da l’ zbog mene, da li zbog žaketa,
prevari se i pristade Cveta.
Taman sve to – kad zalaja pseto!
Ja joj rekoh: -“Drž se mene, Cveto!”
Da l’ zbog mene, da li zbog žaketa,
prevari se, pridrža se Cveta.
Beše leto kad je božur cveto,
ode pseto, ja u polje skretoh.
Da l’ zbog mene, da li zbog žaketa,
prevari se pa skrete i Cveta.
I logično, s’ obzirom da skretoh,
plavi žaket na livadu metoh.
Da l’ zbog mene, da li zbog žaketa,
prevari se i spusti se Cveta.
Prođe leto i još pet-šest leta,
sad se Cveta mojom kućom šeta,
iz razloga ekstra kvaliteta
da li mene ili mog žaketa.

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