Nizar Sartawi on Kosovo, Rahovec and Fahredin Shehu

 

Land of the Vineyards

For Fahredin Shehu

 

 

Rahovec O Rahovec

blessed child of Dardania

to you I came

with my naïve poems

and simple dreams.

 

And there I was… in your bosom

as my eyes wandered

among the hills

and vales

that girded your slim waist

with vineyards –

the vineyards

where the Maenads dwelt   

and turned every vine

into a little shrine.

 

My eyes fell

on the hanging grapes

that glittered like pearls

under the September sun

 

And there and then

I found me drunken,

and the whole world turning

before my eyes

into a giant poem

 

 

The Cunning Angel… A Song for Rahovec

 

 

O Rahovec,

little cunning angel that you are!

 

Didn’t you in the days of old

invite the reckless son of

mortal Semele

into your sacred land

to wine and dine

amidst your divine

vines

and take the secret recipe

back to Olympus?

 

And didn’t the Gods,

drunken with your hallowed

nectar,

crowned him god of viticulture

and holy wine?

 

 

On the Road to Freedom

 

But you, Kosovo, though you’re small

among the clans of Illyria,

though your body was perforated

your bare feet lacerated

bathing in your own blood,

you marched on the road to freedom

stepping on thorns and barbs.

 

And now:

The boisterous drums

that terrified your little ones…

NO MORE

 

The heavy boots

that on your silent roads

trod…

NO MORE

 

 

The alien winds

that broke the limbs of your

grapevines…

NO MORE

 

 

Asclepius

has healed your wounds

 

The angels

are singing your praises

 

Your glory

to heaven will rise

 

And your wine

will forever and ever flow.

 

 

 

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