Basri ÇAPRIQI (MONTENEGRO/KOSOVA)

BasriCapriqi

BasriCapriqi

Basri Çapriqi is born in Ulqin in 1960. He finished high school in Ulqin. He studied Albanian Literature at the University of Prishtina and received his Master’s Degree in 1988 in Philological Sciences. In 2004 he received his Ph. D. in Prishtine. He works at the University of Prishtina where he teaches Stylistics, Semiotics and Contemporary poetry. His poetry has been included in several anthologies of Albanian Literature. His poetry has also been translated in English, French, German, Rumanian, Polish, Serb/Croat, Turkis, Arabic and Macedonian. He is the president of Kosova PEN Center.  He was the president of the Governing Board of University of Prishtina and from 2012 hi is member of Albanian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He writes poetry, literary critique, essays. He has published seven collections of poetry and five collections of literary critique. Among his works of poetry the most known are: ‘He Mocks Me’, ‘The Bizarre Fruits’, ‘Grass on the Window’, ‘The Taming of the Snake’. Literary critique: ‘The Microstructure of the Text’, ‘The Dimensions of Context’, ‘The Symbol and Its Rivals’, ‘The Kadare Paradigm’.

Literary prizes and Awards: The Award of the Poetry Meeting in Gjakova (1996, 2007), The Award of Art Club, Ulqin (1994), the Award Lasgush Poradeci, Albania (1992) and The Silver Medal, in the competition for poetry at the International Saloon of The Academie Europeenne Des Arts, Bruxelles (2007)

THE OYSTER

Open up

I want to get out

And drink water straight off the sky

Leave the stars be

Drink water from my mouth

We shut away our seed

At the bottom of the sea

How long are we shut off

Lost inside oh God

And can not hear the voices of the water

THE PILLOW

I took a pillow full of soft feathers, placed it

under my head. I wanted to sleep,

soft and in peace. So soft and white

I held it close to my chest. I caressed my face

and spread my warm breath over. So many soft

birds I said, under my neck sleep their eternal

peace. As I was getting used to it and

could not do without so soft and warm

feathers strangely one by one got

out and filled my entire room first,

then my entire house and after

all the neighborhood. I being used

so soft and warm, to faraway

dreams got the signal to have been captured

by cold fever. And I could not stand it,

you wild birds, I burst out, strangling me

almost by your white feathers.

And it became cold, really cold. The

emptiness of the pillow abandoned and

feathers changing season led me into

some clouds of wool after so much time.

THE FUNERAL

They are so many and

He is all alone above their shoulders

I switch on the TV and lie down

He is still alone and They

On their feet Eat a hasty hot

Dog or something alike

I switch the channel There it is

The funeral from the start

I switch off the TV I say

It is time to be alone

Leave the Window Open

Leave the window open leave the window

for the air of the street to come let it all burn out

Leave the window open leave the window

to swallow up breath to let out the odour of the body

Leave the window open leave the window

to break the vision in the eyes to clarify the spirit

from the closed space

Leave the window open leave the window

resounds the epic voice of the poets children rush to

escape from the darkness from the sharpened tones

Leave the window open leave the window

the beasts come down the mountain they tread upon dead apples in dead women

Leave the window open leave the window

it rains water some water especially some water drop

on the chapped lips

Leave the window open leave the window

free yourself of passion of guilt greet your dead especially

Leave the window open leave the window

Sleep with dogs insects with spirits of the dark with faraway voices

Leave the window open leave the window

corpses are your sincere companions, look they do not kill you

do not stand in your way do not take your breath

Leave the window open leave the window

red rain drops before you are off on that final journey

with umbrellas of steel

Leave the window open leave the window

break the square mirror in the corner of the room

with your face and set off

Leave the window open leave the window

especially

as you are dead in the army marching to the heavens

close the door close

lest the beasts and humans get out

THE GRASS ON THE WINDOW

My fruits get rotten on the table

I start to pick unripe apples

to kill the due date of the fruit’s death

someone who loves me secretly

throws me her unripe cheek

to make me give up the unknown apples

kick the fruits in the evening

a distant voice tells me

that the buds come out of the mud in the morning

throw the seed beyond the garden

when the season change and the leaves drop

guard your home before leaves cover your face

if the grass gets in your window

do not say garden has grown on the table

its death’s triumph over the green arch

Translated from Albanian by: Sazana Çapriqi