Scar on the Stone: Contemporary Poetry from Bosnia Paperback – 30 Jul 1998
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Top customer reviews
The obvious Bosnian present tense, 3rd person singular "Bosna da prostis jedna zemlja imade" was translated to English past tense ("There once was a land sir called Bosnia") by Mr Francis R. Jones in "Scar on the Stone" Collection. Also, there is neither any mention of Bosnia which is "footsore and drossy" nor Bosnia which "wakes from sleep with a defiant sneer" in the Mak's original.
Reading the translation of Mr Jones gave me the impression that there once was a dirty land called Bosnia, and that its defiant sneer signalled alienation, aggressiveness, stubborness, etc.. I believe that Mr Jones should improve his translation of this poem and convey the obvious intention of the author that Bosnia is a symbol of beauty, mystery, sensitivity...
A RECORD ABOUT A LAND (An attempt of a translation from Bosnian to English)
Pars fuit Illyrici, quam nunc vocat incola Bosnam, Dure, sed argenti munere dives humus. Non illic virides spacioso margine campi, Nec sata qui multo foenere reddat ager. Sed rigidi montes, sed saxa minantia coleo, Castella et summis imposita alta iugis. Iani Pannoni Quinque: Elegarium Liber (E1.VI)
There was a worthy questioner once And he asked one this question:
And who is she Where is she, if you don't mind Whence and Whither is she Where is that Bosnia, sayest thee?
And the questioned swiftly Gave this reply to him:
There is a Bosnia, if you don't mind A land she is Fasting and barefooted, if you don't mind And cold and hungry she is And more to this all, if you don't mind Defiant she is in her dreaming.
A poem by Mehmedalija Mak Dizdar From "The Stone Sleeper" Collection, 1966
Translated by Aisa Telalovic, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, January 2000
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