3 Xhevdet Bajraj Translations by Alice Whitmore

By and | 15 September 2022

The following translations are republished with kind permission from Laertes Books. They were originally published in the 2020 chapbook Emergency Exit: Recent Poems by Xhevdet Bajraj.

The Spanish source poems for ‘Take Revenge’ and ‘The Peddler of Small Wooden Angels’ are from the 2018 volume El año que no trajo primavera (The Year That Brought No Spring); ‘Instructions on How to Write Poetry’ is from the 2019 volume Kur Qajnë Hardhite / Cuando lloran las vides (When the Vines Weep).

Take revenge

let’s warm ourselves like magpies
on the rooftops of those abandoned houses
by mortars in the last war

Under the gap-toothed smile of the sun
let’s lie naked
and warm ourselves

Because we are poor
and love is the only weapon we have
with which to take revenge on life

Vengarse de la vida

Vamos a calentarnos
como las urracas
sobre los techos de las casas
heridas por los morteros de mano
en la última guerra

Bajo este sol chimuelo
vamos a calentarnos

A los pobres solo el amor les queda
para vengarse de la vida

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