Ranko Pavlović (1943) is a writer, poet, essayist, literary critic and playwright. He writes for children and adults. His poems and short stories were translated into Italian, Polish, Hungarian, English, Romanian, German, Dutch and other languages. He has published seventeen collections of poems (Bones and Shadows, Core, Hunting, The Powder of a Poet, Monk Sonnets, Between Two Blanks ...), sixteen collections of short stories, five novels, two collection of essays, a book of literary criticism and ten radio dramas for adults, eighteen collections of short stories for children, six collections of poems for the youngest, a novel for young people, a dozen texts for children's theaters and about twenty radio plays for children. He has won many awards. He received The Ivo Andric Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He recently received The Gordana Todorovic Award for the best manuscript.
He lives and works in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
EVERYTHING IN ITS OWN PLACE
Everything will finally come in its own place:
Nightingale on a poplar branch barely covered with leaves,
Bee on a first flower of primrose,
Sunbeam on a clear dew drop
Awake on a still not blooming bud.
Everything will finally be placed in its own place:
Smile on a freckled face of a sleeping child,
Maidenly wish in a smell of a bouncing apple,
Headless rhyme in harmonious verses
Of a poem that no beginning can be seen.
Everything will finally settle down in its own place,
Only my being will be far away,
Searching for a point where essence is shivering,
Only my thought will be on a path
Where feet do not touch the ground.
Translated by: Svetlana Pavlovic
We hunted grasshoppers and butterflies,
Just to have enough play in the meadow …
... then we hunted rabbits and roebucks,
Just to gorge ourselves and to survive,
Then we hunted foxes and wolves,
to stop them hunting our rabbits and roebucks,
then we hunted other hunters,
to stop them hunting our quarry…
... so we started to hunt ourselves,
for he who once starts hunting – never stops.
Translated by: Svetlana Pavlovic
The Spirit of Shakespeare Between Us
Who plays you any more today in the theatre,
my Shakespeare? They play with you, chop you,
have you naked, put a mobile phone
in Julia’s hands, Romeo is sent
on formula 1 racings. What can I tell you?
They feed their fate by damaging your
texts. It’s like they say, they're directors
of New Age, they don’t care, can do
with the old English what they want.
They can, whenever wish, set Hamlet
for the board president of the world's largest
corporations for the production of preservatives,
and the spirit of his father lay in a thermos bottle
and have the drink with cold coke,
at the tennis tournament, that’s now in fashion,
as in your time were knights tournaments.
Like the creators of the new world order,
who walk the world as if it was only theirs,
the same way new directors tailor your drama.
But, Shakespeare, grab your pen again
(when the spirit of Hamlet's father still walks
the world, you can also), so write
something new, let's say about global
warming up and humiliating relationship
according to the gay population, though
the texts will be looked at and thrown
under the table as far as possible from the scene
by the theatre directors, who will continue on their own.
But, don’t worry, your time is coming.