08 July 2018
Author :  

Olimbi VELAJ (1971) was born in Mallakastra, Albania. She studied in Tirana and Sofia. Velaj is author of the lyric volumes Çastet vdesin nën akrepa orësh (Moments perish under the hands of clocks), Tirana, 1998; and Qenia pasdite (Afternoon existence), bilingual volume (Albanian-English, Tirana, 2003. Her poetry is published in 15 languages, in Balkan countries, in Europe and Azia in some of literature magazines and anthology. She has been in a number of poetry festivals and she has nominations and awards for her poetry. Velaj translates into Albanian contemporary poets.

Velaj works as a lecturer in Albanian Literature of XX century, Creative Writing and World Literature of the Nineteenth Century; she is Head of Literature Department, Faculty of Education “Aleksandër Moisiu” University, Durrës, Albania. Currently she is teaching Albanian Language, Literature and Culture in University of Belgrade, Department of Albanology.

Velaj worked as a journalist in cultural issues from 1993 till 2008 and she was one of representative journalist during transition, after communist regime in Albania. As a journalist she has published widely in cultural heritage and folklore. During 1997-1998 she had a research fellowship in Sofia University, focused on comparative studies on Ballads of the Balkans. Her PhD topic (2012) was “The Albanian ballad in the inter-Balkan context”. Her research interests are in areas of oral based literature and po

etry, ballad theory and folk songs.




By Olimbi VELAJ


You too remember

Those old times

With naïve calls and postcards

Summer, like an apocalypse, had flown away

Over our bodies and dreams

Waiting, overwhelmed with anxiety

As embassies creaked under screams

I cannot forget your conviction

And the pure light

Under that sky of departure hours.

Then rains came back

Our longing grew distant

And anxiety kept fading

Like an ice cube with melted corners

Senses experienced other moods

And impressions became vague

Like thirst going out of attention

Now I remember you quite accidentally,

Unconsciously, as if you were a participant

In a ritual anniversary where reason cannot work.


English translation by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj.




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