on the book of Dr. Sali Bytyçi

There’s an indispensable act of reality we often tend to avoid and what is purely existential from life and life’s occurrences one can’t simply avoid. That is the Providence since none of us would ever choose to find himself and or herself in circumstances such our poet Dr. Sali Bytyçi.

Being endangered as poet, as human and as an intellectual entity in bizarre times of existence stipulatory triggers the doubt of existence of God, Universe, and Humanity etc.  Yet Love as divine as is stronger than any emotion, any act of existence, any algorithm of the Cosmic Counsciousness and whatever else.

It is as all Love is simply spread in each page of the book in each verse and in each letter per se.

Love for the beloved, love for his country love for the life itself …and it is indicatively said from the very beginning/ in his book title “What’s left of the dream” questioning life and all what it represents when the despair and hopelessness at its peak he addresses a poem as an open letter to Elfride Jelinek

“You won the Nobel prize

now you have the right to take

under your patronage an animal

a dog, a cat or dear

You’d better take a poet from

the Balkans

at least save him from poverty”

In the other turn through verse he write so quintessentially about Time

“Time flies and left Timelessness

Time goes forward only”

This is existential and potent read and verse that indicates to everyone shall look forward. Hopefulness!

The poem is written in prison in Nish/ Serbia on Aril 2000/ 4912

“Yesterday I was a man

And today I may be grave on

the hill

I can be lost one without a trace”

…is a deep emotional burden and fear of survival.

Even the newspapers from Kosovo, he beautifully narrates through verses, were banned and usually the food was wrapped with the pages of newspapers to be later assembled and read as one in order to find out what is going on there in Kosovo.

With an excellent translation a prominent Fadil Bajraj , the book “What’s left of  the dream” is an episode of a poet’s (Sali Bytyqi) life, that envelopes pain of his compatriots being himself biologically endangered not only for being a poet and/ or Intellectual but being Albanian from Kosovo in general.

This is a strong verse impregnated with the primordial creek and of basic emotions such are; doubt, despair, hope, spleen yet  still shows that the entity of a cosmic importance is still  victorious through love and life’s zeal and that is the Love for life and creation.

Fahredin Shehu

Feb. the 22nd , 2021, Rahovec

Sali Bytyçi was born in Dejë, South East of Kosova, in 1962. He graduated at Prishtina University. M. A. in Literature. Ph. D. in Theory of Literature. Primary and secondary education has completed in Ratkoc and Rahovec while graduated in Albanian Literature Department of the Faculty of Philology at the University of Prishtina. In 2002 defended his master thesis titled “Funksioni simbolik i florës dhe i faunës në poezinë e sotme shqipe (1945-2000)” and in 2009 defended his doctoral topic “Vepra letrare e Azem Shkrelit” (“Azem Shkreli literary works”) at the University of Pristina. In 1983 was sentenced by the communist regime for the offense -hostile propaganda and from 12 May 1998 until the end of October 2000 remained in prison: Prizren, Lipjan, Dubrava of Nis, as captives (prisoner of war).
From 1990 he worked as a teacher in primary schools in his district.
Since 2004, in newspaper “Lajm” has held office of editor of the culture and linguistic editor, while since 2009 works at the Department of Literature at the Institute of Albanology in Pristina.
With literary writings started during the study and has participated in scientific sessions that were organized within and abroad. Is a member of the Writers League of Kosovo and of the Association of Political Prisoners in Kosovo.

Published books:
– (1994) – Requiem for oaks (poetry) “Art Pen”, Prishtina.
– (2011) – At the Reservation (poetry), “Brezi ‘81”, Prishtina.

– (2003) – Labyrinth of literary text (Criticism and reviews), “Sheshi”, Prishtina.
– (2007) – In medias res (recensione), “Era”, Prishtina.
– (2008) – Plant and animal symbols in in Modern Albanian Poetry (1945-2000), (monograph), Institute of Albanology – Prishtina.
– 2010 – Words of Stone (Literary Works of Azem Shkreli), Institute of Albanology – Prishtina.
– (2011) – From pseudo theories to plagiarism, Institute of Albanology – Prishtina.


Yesterday I was a man
And today I may be a grave on the hill
I can be a lost one without a trace

Now I am just a number
A number that breathes
A number that rises in the morning and falls in the evening
A number that eats and sees
A number that moves on two legs

Now I am number 4912
That would be enough for me

Yesterday I was a man
Today I am a number

Prison in Niš (Serbia ), April 2000

When They Sentence the Poet

When they declare a poet
A terrorist
The Power goes mad

Middle Age heroes rise from the grave
And massacred children roam on the ground

When they declare a poet a terrorist
The smoke covers the sky
And the earth resembles more to Dante’s Hell

When they declare a poet a terrorist
State kills itself
And people feed off with each other’s heads

Niš prison (Serbia), Summer 1999

Remembering You

While remembering you
I am killing the most precious one –
The time
That Creator gave us reluctantly…

By writing verses for you
I am killing the shortest one –
The time
That Creator gave us
And I forget
That you’re the Time
That you have been
That you are
And that you will always be

Poems translated by Fadil Bajraj