poetry

Dinko Telećan: Poems

Poet and prose writer Dinko Telećan won this year's European Prize for Poetry at the Festival of Poetry in Curtea de Argeş.



Amaranth

You –
sleepyblossomed manychannelled
thunderlivid meadowknitted
oceanvisaged sickleselvedged
solarpotent ovalweathered
spiritsated waterscripted
forestsabled brittlewaisted
drizzlecrested bonfirefeathered
charcoalrocky crystalstocky
gold-junked fruit-trunked
aspenmurmur pleasurebreasted – 
unmine

You are like a day
spent in an orchard
before it fruits

(transl. with Andrea Brady)
 

 

 


Arunachala

dedicated to Ramana Maharshi
 

first thou were a blazing column
then gold then a ruby
then later in our Kali-mire
dawn-coloured rock of mount

thou art Shiva and all his faces
the face of mine the blood of all
the only face
and the One beyond faces

thou art the bond of earth and heaven
their stony marriage
their eternal sameness
and immense presence

on thy crown of black
as the cheek of the god of death
the veil of fate is growing thinner –
I am thy breath and thou art me

on the top which is the bottom
in this naked heart
which is the Being laid bare
the masks are melting in the furnace of Dawn

the last of all names
the last word on the mortal lips
before the stillness of abyss –
Arunachala

 

 

 

 

Shanti

out of an everlasting blue theme
a green lightning springs from above
pierces into the sand and sprouts
from the smiling mouth of little Shanti

the suffering God shines from this mouth
and through the thatched roof her dark pupils
reach towards banana trees

they set her up on a filthy litter
and she clasps the thin cripply hands
and with even thinner voice she says: thank you

thank you for bringing blue seeds
and green leaves in your eyes:
the smile is all I will ever give the world
my note in the everlasting blue theme

Shantivanam, Tannirpalli, Tamil Nadu, 2002

 

 

 

 

with the wind

dedicated to Blaise Cendrars


between two journeys
as always

gazing at he green sea of the Bengal Bay
I'm visited by simple thoughts
simple as sleeping palm trees
and interwoven as neatly
as the white flowers in the nocturnal hair
of Tamil women

all comparisons vanish
in the sight of the high seas
where nothing is discerned
and nothing ought to be discerned

this is were I began
this is where I'll end
after a few more recoveries
and few more strolls down the strand

Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, 2003

                (from Beyond, 2005)

 

 

directions

the West is a confident stammering
shallow mole-hills into which the sulfur of speech is thrown
a nettle that withers at the sight of the Sun
a weathercock oiled by the extract of ocean

the North is a white gown stained on its thick inside
an accurate melody that commands and roots
a lichen packed for export
a groin ripped open and stitched by needles of ice

the East is the scent that prevents the Moon from being seen
the sun that makes the clothes burn in a flash
the suicide of fireflies on the throne of garbage
the starting the ending the inexhaustible glue

the South is a boiling head and a freezing foot
a hunger being slowly hung upon red branches
a fruit that dies in passionate peace
the casting of mask that laughs at its own self

 

 

 

 

the day the Moon was bombarded

not a sound was heard
not a slat was shaken

the Sun just blinked
and the daily share of the insignificant ones
perished in the dust

the flies are almost as content
as the scientists
and their fat children in the supermarket

the research continues
and optimists consider extending their families

                                                9th October 2009

(from Needlestack, 2011; transl. with Robin Parmar)

 

 

 


A Sonnet to India

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thour art far hotter and icy as well:
Able to freeze a tear and burn the clay,
And which of these, one can never tell.
Thy scope is far too wide to compare:
From the mountains of ice to heaps of dust,
With arrays of treasures for all to spare,
To look for a simile would be unjust.
Thou might also into the ocean sink,
Suffer for ages 'cause of greed and lust,
Yet as a star after a daytime's wink,
Thou art bound to be reborn at last.
So long as a single soul can its stardom feel,
Of all the wheels you shall remain the Wheel.

Kathmandu, December 2012

  

 

 

 

three in the morning

give the monkeys what they want,
change the rhythm, change it now,
if music is what you want;
stick to the pattern and you'll lose it,
sing to beasts when the forest sleeps,
drink your measure and you'll drown;
let the water gods be washed in wine,
dine with gods, shout at lords,
abide to gods and eat their liver,
feel how they shiver inside;
change the music and yourself with it,
give the monkeys what they want
and leave the poem incomplete


(unpublished, originally written in English)

 

 

 

 

you knew

there's more in store
much more
so much more that it's nothing
much of nothing
much more scores that draw
to the first painting of a rose
of the rose springing slowly
from no-soil
from the unspoilable
from the morning that's in store
for you – a new you in the dew
it's been due it's in store
a longed-for you
unborn unmourned
not a self – for self is a shelf
burning burning
yearning for its ash
in your birth in your singing
in your springing from the unspoilable
and in your return
which is in store
certainly in store
however uncertain every rose is
and every song about it
for there's more in store
an abundant nothing
the true nothingness of the true rose
three times given to you
for you
in you: you knew
 

 

 

 

 

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Dinko Telećan was born in 1974 in Zagreb, Croatia. In 1999 graduated in philosophy and English language and literature from the University of Zagreb. During the last decade and a half he has been writing poetry, prose and essays as well as translating from English and Spanish as a free-lance author.

He has published so far four books of poems (Clashes, 1997, Gardens & Red Phase, 2003, Beyond, 2005, and Needlestack, 2011), a metaphysical study titled Freedom and Time (2003), a travel book under the title Lotus, Dust and Poppy (2008) written in India and Pakistan, a book of essays called The Desert (2009) and a novel titled Deserter (2013). Selection from his works were translated into German, English, Hungarian, Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Romanian, Macedonian, Slovenian and Slovakian language.

Translated over 50 books (novels, poetry, scientific books, books of essays and lectures, including authors as various as J. G. Frazer, J. L. Borges, Kahlil Gibran, Richard Flanagan, Ernesto Sabato, Slavoj Žižek, H. D. Thoreau, Terry Eagleton, Stephen Greenblatt, Julio Cortázar and Roberto Bolaño), and also edited a number of them.

His poems in English were published in anthologies Poets' Paradise, The Fancy Realm and Poetic Bliss (Guntur, India, 2010–12).

Participated as a screenwriter in the production of the animated film The Tide by Alen Zanjko (2011).

Translates for radio and television programmes as well. Works as an editor in literary publishing and on the Third Programme of the Croatian Radio.

Participated in literary festivals in Užice (Serbia, 2009), Jaipur (India, 2010), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canarian Islands, Spain, 2010), Wardha (India, 2011), Zagreb (Verse in the Region, poetry festival, Croatia, 2012), Bijelo polje (Montenegro, 2012), Guntur (India, 2012), Curtea de Argeş (Romania, 2013) and Struga (Macedonia, 2013).

Won various awards for his translations and essays, among them the annual award of the Croatian Literary Translators' Association for the translation of J. G. Frazer's Golden Bough in 2002, and the Award for the best non-fictional translation at the Sarajevo Literary Fair in 2006 for the translation of Slavoj Žižek's The Ticklish Subject. Winner of the European Prize for Poetry at the Festival of Poetry in Curtea de Argeş in 2013.

From 2004 to 2010 member of the Board of Croatian Literary Translators' Association; a member of Croatian Writers' Society since 2009; member of Croatian PEN Centre since 2013.

 

 

Bibliography – original works (books only)

 

Kreševa (Clashes), Igitur, Zagreb, 1997 (poems)

Vrtovi & Crvena mijena (Gardens & The Red Phase), AGM, Zagreb, 2003 (poems)

(electronic edition on www.elektronickeknjige.com/ telecan_dinko/vrtovi_i_crvena_mijena, DPKM, Zagreb, 2006)

Sloboda i vrijeme (Freedom and Time), Naklada Jesenski i Turk, Zagreb, 2003 (a tractate)

Iza (Beyond), AGM, Zagreb, 2005 (poems)

Lotos, prah i mak (Lotus, Dust and Puppy), Naklada Jesenski i Turk, 2008 (travel book)

Pustinja i drugi ne-vremeni ogledi (The Desert and other un-timely essays), Sysprint, Zagreb, 2009 (essays)

Cada oliva és un estel fos, bilingual Catalan – Croatian edition, with Marko Pogačar, Barcelona, 2010 (poems)

Plast igala (Needlestack), Croatian Writers' Society, Zagreb, 2011 (poems)

Dezerter (Deserter), Algoritam, Zagreb, 2013 (novel)

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