FROM CONTEMPORARY CROATIAN POETRY*
By ANTUN NIZETEO and G. MARVIN TATUM
IVAN SLAMNIG Born 1930:
Born in Mecković, Dalmatia, lives in Zagreb. His books of poetry are:
ALEJA POSLIJE SVEČANOSTI ["The Avenue after a Celebration] 1956, ODRON [Landslide] 1956, NARONSKA SIESTA [The Siesta at Narona] 1963, MONOGRAFIJA [The Monograph] 1965, LIMB [Limbo] 1968, ANALECTA 1971, PJESME [Poems], 1973.
Šećem kroz zrak kroz medju
ono odredjeno s tri točke
a probito s tri riječi
koje ja znam, a oni ne znaju
Hrvati iz slovenskih autobusa
i Talijani koji bi im nešto prodali
ali im je već dosadilo.
Bijela golubica privilegija
(ili bijaše plameni jezik)
spušta se na me.
I am taking a drive through the air through the border
determined by three points
and pierced by three words
which I know and they don't know
Croats from the Slovene buses
and Italians who would like to sell something
but who have already gotten bored by all that.
The white dove of privilege
(or is it a tongue of fire)
descends upon me.
Poznam ja ova mjesta
ako me ona i ne poznaju.
»It must be a canonization,
the Holy Father in the middle«
Yes, the first Croat saint,
Croatian, you know, Yugoslav ... «
»Croatian, of course
we are of Irish origin too.«
I know these places
though they don't know me.
"It must be a canonization,
the Holy Father in the middle"
"Yes, the first Croat saint,
Croatian, you know, Yugoslav ... "
"Croatian, of course
we are of Irish origin too."
Spuštam se prema Koloseumu.
malo u hlad ... cipele moram skinut ...
ovuda ... ja sam išao ovuda ...
I go down toward the Colosseum
a little into the shade ... I must take off my shoes …
this way ...I went this way...
ne, ali poznam stepenice
pa to su pravi Rimljani, otac izvodi sina
ja bih da sjednem u hlad, u hlad od krune čempresa.
Crvena zemlja medju kamenjem
kao u Dubrovniku (o da padne sitna kiša)
i tako sjedam, jedva su me pogledali
vide da nisam Amerikanac, premda u modroj košulji,
alii nisam ni Talijan, zna to sinov otac.
no, but I know these stairs
after all, they are real Romans, the father is taking out his son
I would like to sit down in the shade, in the shade of the cypresses.
The red-earth amidst the stones
like in Dubrovnik (oh, if it would only shower)
and so I am sitting down, they hardly notice me,
they see I am not an American, though I wear a blue shirt,
but neither am I an Italian, the son's father knows that.
A ja sam doma, skidam cipele
crvenica nije prljava
Ovdje mislim svoje misli, u mrlji hlada,
ovdje sam složio kuću daleko kod sebe.
And I am at home, I take off my shoes
the red-earth is not dirty
Here I think over my own thoughts, in the shady spot,
here I have made a home far away, within myself.
THE CROATIAN POETS
Uzvrnute brkove, serdarske brke, crne brke, brčine
uštirkane visoke kragne, surke
und turkožderski grudobolni pogled
okrugle smešne pobratimove naočale
wenn möglich deutschsprachig
With twisted moustaches, sirdar-like moustaches, black moustaches, great mustachios
with high stiffened collars and surkas
a long-lasting inky
und turkophagous consumptive look
with bosom-friend's round funny eyeglasses
wenn möglich deutshsprachig
the youngest member
with respect kisses them
koji je još uvijek na prsima
posjednut na visoki bijeli barski stolac
ne misleći ni najmanjim dijelom maloga mozga
da je ovaj jezik koji žvačem
dijeleći ga sa Srbima kao zdjelu bravetine u sočivici
pružen od vas, and I have taken it.
He still sucks the breast
sitting on the high white barstool
not thinking with the slightest part of his little brain
that this language I chew
sharing it with the Serbs as a bowl of mutton and lentil soup
is offered by you, poets, and I have taken it.
 For the first part of these translations see the Journal of Croatian Studies, vol. 20 (1979), pp.  - 101.
In the introductory note of these translations, on page 53, an onomastic error should be corrected: the first name of the poet and critic Mrkonjić is not Zlatko but Zvonimir, so it should read Zvonimir Mrkonjić.
Also it should be brought to the attention of the reader that two poems of Zlatko Tomičić, formerly included in this selection, were taken out and added to the translations of Tomičić poems published in this issue of the Journal of Croatian Studies, p. 9-25.
 In English in the original.
 Sirdar, a person of high rank in India.
 Surka, a brownish coat, favored by the 19th century Croatian patriots (the Ilirci).
 In German in the original.
 In German in the original.
 In the original, "štujući ljubne," a line from the poem "Radniku" (To the Worker) by the Croatian poet S. S. Kranjčević (1865-1908), which refers to kissing the worker's hand.
 In English in the original