Ivanka Radmanovic

Poetry

PREMONITION

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DREAMERS

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Poetry

FROM ANCIENT TIMES

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Poetry

AROUND US

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THE OLD MAN, THE GNOME AND THE CURSE

Translated by: James Sutherland- Smith

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He startled me as I was saddling my horse,

This old man with watery eyes

Without eyelashes,

With thin transparent skin,

And a soft voice, which I could not evade.

He said to me:

This gnome here is my witness,

She was promised to him,

Eerily ugly as he is.

You violated the oath,

Gave her a moment of happiness and passion,

Wrenched her from her fate, and now,

Your punishment

For forbidden love will be

Ten lives.

During each of them, she’ll elude you.

You’ll spend your time searching for her,

Often you won’t recognise her,

You’ll punish her, unknowingly,

With your love,

And even when you do recognise her,

You’ll watch her soul

Bidding farewell to you,

Wishing that, for once,

You’ll die before her.

Salvation? Redemption? I asked

I remember the gnome laughed.

The old man shook his head:

Seek, that’s your punishment,

And your curse:

Finding her without realising it.

You’ll eat out of her hand

And hate her,

You’ll love her when she’s gone,

You won’t satisfy her naked,

You’ll hate her clothed,

You’ll wipe a smile off her face,

You’ll drink her tears,

And when, perhaps, you recognise each other,

Both of you will flee,

Just like you do today.

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