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Jure Kaštelan: Three Poems
Fear and Birds | Parting | Thieves

(Translated by Ana Bozicevic-Bowling)

Fear and Birds

I turned the world into
and this watching
into shade.
This is the childhood of objects.
The habitat of birds within a dream.
Stay without flight, forgotten ones.
Stay quiet, the disquieted.
Stay, frightened birds.
On branches
Above waters
In my cries.


Have you come to be grass or a cloud fading.
It's all the same.

And up on the cliffs hawks trail you
and in the waters and among stars.

Eyes cannot be parted,
springs that look to a single sea.
There is no parting.

There is no death.

If I listen in on the wind
 I hear your voice.

If I look into death
 I hear you singing.


The sun stole from me
The ground stole from me
What's left
For me to thieve
sun from the sun
For me to thieve earth
from the earth
From fish and from birds
from shadow and light
to steal myself

Poet's Biography:
  Jure Kaštelan (1919-1990) was the author of nine books of poetry and taught literature at The University of Zagreb, Croatia and The University of Paris-Sorbonne, France. He was one of the most prominent Croatian poets of the 20th century. "Parting" was part of his collection Rooster on the Roof (1950), and "Fear and Birds" and "Thieves" first appeared in A Bit of Stone and Many Dreams (1957). Many thanks to the family of Jure Kaštelan for the permission to translate and publish these poems.

Translator's Biography:
  Ana Bozicevic-Bowling is a Croatian poet living in NYC and writing in English. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cortland Review, LIT, The New York Quarterly, Redivider and elsewhere. Her translations of Viktor Vida were published in 6x6. She edits RealPoetik, an online poetry journal.

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