Ali Podrimja

Ali Podrimja Poems

And the gentleman said

Should you happen to come upon
An Albanian and a wolf

We'll go to Paris
There we shall lay our stone
Teuta, Genti will not be expecting us
The savage Roman hordes will not be expecting us

Everything about you, your birth
And your step Lumi
My security in life

Wandering with wolves is more than interesting
When you set off for the Forest
You discover your real face

The star goes out with a bang
You look us in the eye and gulp
Never do you turn your back on us, Ali Podrimja


I don't know why I long for Skopje
Now that Lumi is no longer there
And Baci Bajram no longer descends the Kaçaniku Gorge


If a people
Have no poets
And no poetry of their own
For a National Anthology

Should you long
to see Albanians
Go down to the train station in a big city

Take this stone and cast it
Wherever you wish
If you wish

It was summer
Overhead the sun
Shadows, you around Europe

Ali Podrimja Biography

Ali Podrimja (28 August 1942 – 21 July 2012) was an Albanian poet. He was born in Gjakova, at the time part of Italian-controlled Albania under Italy. After a difficult childhood due to the death of his parents, he studied Albanian language and literature in Pristina until 1966. Author of over a dozen volumes of cogent and assertive verse since 1961, he was recognized both in Kosovo and in Albania itself as a leading and innovative poet. Indeed, he was considered by many to be the most typical representative of modern Albanian verse in Kosovo and was certainly the Kosovo poet with the widest international reputation. Podrimja's first collection of elegiac verse, Thirrje ("The calls", Pristina, 1961), was published while he was still at secondary school in Gjakova. Subsequent volumes introduced new elements of the poet's repertoire, a proclivity for symbols and allegory, revealing him as a mature symbolist at ease in a wide variety of rhymes and meters. In the early eighties, he published the masterful collection Lum Lumi ("Lum Lumi", Pristina, 1982), which marked a turning point not only in his own work but also in contemporary Kosovo verse as a whole. This immortal tribute to the poet's young son Lumi, who died of cancer, introduced an existentialist preoccupation with the dilemma of being, with elements of solitude, fear, death and fate. Ali Podrimja is nonetheless a laconic poet. His verse is compact in structure, and his imagery is direct, terse and devoid of any artificial verbosity. Every word counts. What fascinates the readers is his compelling ability to adorn this elliptical rocky landscape, reminiscent of Albanian folk verse, with unusual metaphors, unexpected syntactic structures and subtle rhymes. On 21 July 2012, the French police informed the authorities of the Republic of Kosovо that Podrimja was found dead. Podrimja had lost contact with family members since many days. His premature loss is considered a loss for the Albanian art and literature.)

The Best Poem Of Ali Podrimja

Who Will Slay The Wolf

for F. Altimari

And the gentleman said

Should you happen to come upon
An Albanian and a wolf
Slay the Albanian

When the Albanian heard the saying
He smiled
And rolled himself a cigarette

If you slay me
my poor friend
Who will slay
The wolf

Poor herds

(Cosenza 1988)

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