Lisandri Kola was born in Shkodra in 12 May 1986. He has published several collections of poetry Melodia e harpës (Harp’s Melody), Rabini i pasy (The Blind Rabbi), Ungjilli (si)mbas Gjonit (Gospel According to John), As gëzuar nuk të thashë (Didn’t Even Wish You Mother’s Day), Flutrat vdesin në maj (Butterflies die in May) etc., as well as a novel Saga e nji dite (Saga of a Day). He has translated Alda Merini Mishi i engjëjve (La carne degli angeli /Angles’ meat) from the Italian language. In addition, he is co-translator of the treatise of Pseudo-Longin E madhërishmja (On the Sublime). He is also writing scientific articles and publications [such as Satira në epikën fishtiane (Satire in the fishtean epic) or Struktura dhe funksioni i figures ne poemen ‘Lahuta e Malcis’ të Gjergj Fishtës (Structure and function of the figure on ‘Highland Lute’ poem of Gjergj Fishta)]. Since 2014 L. Kola holds a Phd degrees in Literature. Some of his poetry is translated in Montenegrin language.
Title: Fluturat Vdesin ne Maj (Butterflies die in May)
Place of Publication: Pristina
Year of Publication: 2014
Publisher: Dit’ e Nat’
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Reviews: Poems and poetry with mystical character, which hold inside a typology between genres; a prosaic poetry. In them can be found an infantile exploration of childhood; a play with the repeated structures of speech; the digging into human subconsciousness as well as the tonal symbolism of poetical lexemes.To the book Flutrat vdesin në maj (Butterflies die in May) has been awarded the National Prize At Zef Pllumi, 2014.
Didn’t Even Wish You Mother’s Day
Today is mother’s day , nanë. And, surely, you would have wanted a gift. Remember when I was a child and used to bring you my own light, little thoughts, all wrapped up in a piece of paper? Then, sooner or later, you’d take me and kiss me or you’d go tell all the women in the old neighborhood what your son had gotten for you on mother’s day. They’d whisper a “God bless him” through their teeth. You’d have coffee together, a chitchat and that was it. Day would hole up forcefully in night’s armpit and the grass moistened under the sky’s wet back. Today is mother’s day, nanë. And you would have liked a gift, no matter how small. But, except for my drinking, which goes on for days and nights in a row, I have nothing else for you. I know it’s not easy to see your son drunk, but it’s the stuff of love that troubles the poor fool. It’s the stuff he’s not able to sort out as he mumbles about texts he thinks he’s so good at. In fact, this stuff is what everyone ever talks about and, to some extent, everyone knows what causes man to arrive at such thresholds. Transformational thresholds. Or any other kind of threshold worthy of a different modifier. It’s the snake from the Bible who rolled up over the eggs he’d left at the roots of our tree. It’s that same snake, with that same skin, and that same song swirling on his tongue, with that same spit in his mouth. In this case it’s not clear whether things are said or unsaid. Whether logic is illogic. Whether memory is mismemory. Love’s own splinters have seized your son and have thrown him to the floor as if he were a little white lamb. You’re the cause of narration in my writing yet again. No matter what I make you look like. No matter in which book I mention you. Sometimes cruelly, sometimes indifferently. With artistic purpose, of course. Sometimes in The Melody of the Harp, sometimes in The Eyeless Rabi, sometimes in The Gospel According to John, and lately, in The Lost Manuscript of St. Matthew’s .
These books, sometimes they cost money, sometimes they don’t, but together, they’re the price of an ordinary book by Kadare. • This land is not Camaj’s land, or anyone else’s who’s written about it. It’s Lisi’s land, your son’s, and even while he’s always walking on it, he loves it and longs for it. He loves it and longs for it because when he was born you made a cross on his forehead with dirt from this land. Even though you gave him a Greek name. He doesn’t love this land just because all his first brethren walked on it: Fishta, Mjedja, Koliqi, Pali, Pipa and many others . He loves it because it’s the land of your cross. Nanë, this time poetry can’t smooth out splinters, because it’s that red snake from the Bible who decided to drop in on us for a visit.
It’s the snake
our arms, nanë.
My forehead ebbs
and you, white hairs
over your temples.
My friend loved foreign lands so much that when she’d go abroad she’d make up her nationality. She’d say, I’m from x place, without knowing that her accent would betray her. My friend was a bird who wanted to see too many foreign lands; that was the song she was born with. It was the song of her veins, in the end. She didn’t like this land; used to think that only weeds grow in it. It’s the kind of land one must flee from as soon as possible. Far from it. Somewhere. Without knowing where to. Without knowing what to do there. Without knowing where to turn to. Let’s all run toward new shores. It’s better on the other side. We’ll have one another. As though here we couldn’t! Let’s all run away from here, because this land is an endless gravel strand. It’s the kind of land where nothing grows. What should I have done with the dirt of your cross, nanë? Take a slap from it once in a while for old time’s sake? (……………) I’ve written a poem, nanë. The way I write them. Poems where sunlight never breaks in.
The extract is translated from the Albanian by Ani Gjika