WAR – A Bouquet of Poems from an Albanian Poet

When the world was in war and terror, I was making love

Fatmir R Gjata, an eminent Albania-born poet, based in Italy, shares his poems

Fatmir R Gjata - Albania - Sindh Courier

Fatmir R Gjata was born in Albania on March 3, 1966. He went to school in his native country and worked in the oil fields as a group manager for the exploration of oil and gas fields. He was active in politics as a young man and in 1990 he became treasurer of the Republican Party of the city of Fier, one of the most important in the country. He wrote for the newspapers of the time as a young man and found him at the forefront of the political changes in the country. In 1991 he left Albania to come and live in Italy where he still lives today in Castelnuovo Don Bosco. Here he worked for 25 years in Pino D’Asti as caretaker of the castle of the same town and in the meantime continued his studies at the University of Turin for political science. Halfway through his studies, he concentrated on literary activities, becoming a leading voice in Albanian letters. With 9 books of written poems he became a protagonist of the country’s literary scene. He has received many awards in different countries such as Germany, Kosovo, Albania.


Photo courtesy: Wikipedia


When the world was in war and terror,

I was making love

Some lights left on the ground,

In the black sky.

And the commanders shouted:

“In line! Line up, soldiers”!

The length in the middle was halved,

Injured and killed.


When the world was at peace again,

I was making love

Fireworks were going off all around,

They sang for freedom.

But still we could not find freedom,

Where we went we don’t know

In war it was endless death,

Now it’s sobbing.


Now the trains go between the tracks,

I can’t find my station

So I talk to myself among you,

As I said at the beginning.

They called me a deacon and a traitor,

I survived the war,

Why didn’t I take a rifle and grenades?

Why didn’t I put a star on my forehead?


Now you are all heroes,

With marks, with wounds full of blood,

I always stay in my world

Call me a coward.

I always ask you very resentfully:

“This world is better”?

“Nobody answers me either,

That it is difficult”.


What war will you go to today, wretch,

It’s war again?

Many other heroes were born,

Killed by volleys.

I will come with you this time,

Full of anger and bile,

To ask you right there in the middle of the battle:

“What do you feel this time”?



Fier, Albania


If you ask me some day,

And you can’t find me

I will be in a city full of light,

Wandering in vain


In the last city to trust,

Maybe it’s in the fairy tale

In a neighborhood called hope,

And on the street called nostalgia.


There will be no stone castles,

Nor the villas of the rich

I’ll be alone by the woven river,

Some verses with words and music.


Even the river will take me and go, through endless seas and memories

I call despair with my mouth,

Take me through my country.


That I don’t know where I was born, oh I don’t know

I had my eyes closed, I think

I never sought the black fate,

A lifetime was enough for me.


And this life is looking for the third one,

Through foam-twisted waves

You were looking for a place and address,

Find string runaway sleepless.


Let him be confused to the end, wandering to the end for wonder

That this life often seems a torn garment,

When he lives without an address or border.




The dictator’s bust fell and they dragged it away

Who screamed to the sky, who remained crying!

Freedom, God, freedom, they shouted in the square

I don’t know why he became a shadow and lives among us.


The bust of the dictator fell and who had no mercy

Books were burned in the fire with anxiety and desire

What was not written was left as a gift

Let’s be like the whole world called that night.


There was a bust of the dictator in bronze and metal

And maybe they melted it and threw it in the swamp

But dictatorships are known to live on

In invisible souls with anxiety and sadness.


The bust of the dictator is being erected again

For kings and princes, for ordinary docks

They also sing songs that are envious

Same as falling in the war, over the black monster.


The bust of the dictator fell and the people were amazed

A beautiful time would come with happiness and light

But we still remained the same, the same as then

Someone became rich, someone remained poor.


The bust of the dictator fell, but his offspring is alive

There is no full power, there is not even a star on the forehead

He is waiting for the right opportunity to return his time

To kill and wait, resurrected again.


O strange people, O people of my country

You knocked the king from the throne, full of joy and curse

Watch hundreds of kings being dethroned as saints

While you are the same, poor and miserable.



The museum of Apollonia – Wikipedia


I remember how many times

 I drowned in nameless seas

I remember the stopped breath

And what I felt in my heart

Remember all the mistakes oh miraculous light

I remember all the sins committed by witchcraft.


But you poor people who have never been wrong

Tell me; ohhh how much life, you will have to live

I remember sins, what do you remember?

That the feathers fly but the stone remains in place.


And stones turn to dust in the afterlife

If heaven is beautiful, I will find sin

That the world is for persons, beautiful and poets

Don’t say I didn’t tell you, in time you poor people.

(Translator: Marjeta Shatro Rrapaj)