Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Miroslav Mićanović

WHITE

You can hear voices of uncles
and their wives behind closed doors.
 
Voices thicken fast, like white lard,
resolute and sharp, more painful than winter
and coldness in Gunja for
the Republic Day in 1965.
 
Uncles are scolding
mother because
she spilled a bucket full of lard.
 
Warm breath of brandy, anger and rage
break through the nightfall.
 
And everything has its measure:
slaughtered pigs, boys and drunken
relatives. 
 
He is aware he should enter
and tell them it’s enough.
He dares not to peek,
let alone to say something.
 
The only thing he could do,
much later, was to draw on
 
the white solid stuff a mark of
sorrow, regret, whatever you
can write down when you walk
on things long gone
and things that will never be.

BIJELO

BIJELO

Glasovi stričeva i njihovih
žena izbiju iza zatvorenih vrata.
 
Brzo se skrutnu, kao bijela mast,
odsječni i oštri, bolniji od zime i
hladnoće, kakva je u Gunji na
Dan Republike 1965.
 
Stričevi ne prestaju
svojoj majci prigovarati zbog
kante prolivene masti.
 
Topli dah rakije, ljutnja i bijes
probiju predvečerje.
 
I sve dobiva svoju mjeru:
zaklane svinje, dječaci i supijana
rodbina.
 
On zna da bi trebalo ući unutra
i reći im dosta.
Ne usuđuje se ni proviriti,
a kamoli bilo što reći.
 
Jedino što mu, daleko poslije,
preostaje, jest u smrznutu
 
bijelu masu masti staviti znak
žalosti, kajanja, ili što se već
može upisati kad se hoda po
onome čega već odavna nema
i čega neće biti.
Close

WHITE

You can hear voices of uncles
and their wives behind closed doors.
 
Voices thicken fast, like white lard,
resolute and sharp, more painful than winter
and coldness in Gunja for
the Republic Day in 1965.
 
Uncles are scolding
mother because
she spilled a bucket full of lard.
 
Warm breath of brandy, anger and rage
break through the nightfall.
 
And everything has its measure:
slaughtered pigs, boys and drunken
relatives. 
 
He is aware he should enter
and tell them it’s enough.
He dares not to peek,
let alone to say something.
 
The only thing he could do,
much later, was to draw on
 
the white solid stuff a mark of
sorrow, regret, whatever you
can write down when you walk
on things long gone
and things that will never be.

WHITE

You can hear voices of uncles
and their wives behind closed doors.
 
Voices thicken fast, like white lard,
resolute and sharp, more painful than winter
and coldness in Gunja for
the Republic Day in 1965.
 
Uncles are scolding
mother because
she spilled a bucket full of lard.
 
Warm breath of brandy, anger and rage
break through the nightfall.
 
And everything has its measure:
slaughtered pigs, boys and drunken
relatives. 
 
He is aware he should enter
and tell them it’s enough.
He dares not to peek,
let alone to say something.
 
The only thing he could do,
much later, was to draw on
 
the white solid stuff a mark of
sorrow, regret, whatever you
can write down when you walk
on things long gone
and things that will never be.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère