Poems by Alija Krasnići

Poems by Alija Krasnići

RUPUNE ČEHRAJINA

Izdran e alava andar kal umaljina upral e rromenđi cahra
Thaj daramno azbavipe jagasa sa ljengo nakhljipe khosol
Đikaj e Cahrarka ašuđarda e raći kaj e čehrajine mothodina
               garavol
E sune ćerdilje laće učhaljin phirimasi a e đilji dukhamni thaj
               arrmandindi

Tasadilje poloćine đilja e Cahrarkaće ane melalji ljen
Thaj andar lako ođi sar te hhasavona e rupune čehrajina
Pe jakha našti phandol arakhavni si e cahraći savi ano š’tipe dremil
Sar kaj mangla te irisarol putaripe thaj tatipe ane sa cahre

E kalji raći marol prasape katar e čuće Cahrarkaće va thaj sar te
               š’til
Thaj đikaj e daramni jag ni manđol o raćipe te putrol ano parrno
               đive
Ćhindi thaj dukhamni mangla te mothol safar sune lako ođi dićhol
Rano hhasarde sune ane majpalune sahata barrastuni š’til
E činđarde jakha asvenca hamisajlje rupune čehrajinenca

E PARAMIĆI THAJ JAGAKO THAN

Drabarko bijandilan cahrasa thaj parrne grastenca
E vaktese ćerdilan kalji thaj phari
Umladi bahh po krango e šuće kaštesko
Ćućurisardan e alava katar e šuće thaj bokhalje vušta
A e bistarutni paramići ka aćhol dukh ćire đuvdimasi

Manglan te ćerdo hhajing e sunenđi
Kaj e kalorrenđi bibahh te drabare ano prahho
Vaćaresa ćire mamijaće jagaće ćhibasa
Thaj ći troš aćhavesa andar e ljeja e papo papose

Davuljenca alavisare e raćaće benđen
Đilabe ljenđe e đilji đapeimasi
Bilave o moliv thaj terisare o ćhindo muj
A mothojmasa katar e jagako than sovljare o šariri

TE PINĐARE E NATURAĆI ĆHIB

Sarsavo našti đinol e čehrajina po badali
Te vaćarol e čirikljenđe ćhibasa
Te đilabol e cahrarenđe đuvdimastar
E vunato umaljinendar e Đurovdanose luluđenca
Đilja katar e kokala e semnosarde ljimorenđe
Nakhlje durimate ano vortope e khamese bijanimasko

O manušeja, manca bijandilje e alava dukhajmase
Čhelde ano teatri e Homeresko
O ođi phabol e bihramonde ljeđendaće
O šelberšutnipe si hharrno jećhe anglalbijanimase
O munrri bahhone, durilan mandar palo meripe e dako

E bibahhtalje našti araćhe ano parrno them
E hhorimate ni mećen te akharelje po alav
A te paća me
Trubul te naćhe andar mo đuvdipe

KORKORRIPE

Munrro korkorripe ćerol lafi e barresa
O lungo drom ane čorrikani cahra
O barr čučuril e paramići đuvdimasi

O čhavorro rovol e hhasarde sunese
E asvin pićal katar o galbeno muj
Ano vudar o đive mothodol ljese hholjarne

O šelberšimate, so ćerdol manca?
Nakhlo mo đuvdipe po drom katar đav ćhere
E balvaljorri e balvaljenđi paruvil mo vortope

Jaćhenca dikhav o meripe e raćako
Munrro đive aćhol palal e vaktesa

MUNRRE SIMBOLA

Kana sema cikno
E drabarka dikhla manđe ano fusuj
Jek đive ka ćerdijav thagar
Ja barresko phanglo

Sesa savone sune
Andar o vunato jakha thodilo baripe
Mi cahra ane umaljin hhasardem
A munrro đuvdipe barrastuno garajpe

Devljunone munrrije e vunatone umaljinenđi
Aćhav munrre biagorune phirimate
E ljen najla bifundosi hhar
An savi bijandon munrre pharimate

E KIKAVI PHIRIMASI

Pe ćiro galbeno muj
Munrre droma e anglalavutnenđe
A e kikave upral e jaga
An ćire jagalje jakha

E čehljarina amare rodimatenđe
Lolje luluđenca pe vuš

E bibijande čhavorrenđe
E kompirorre šuće
A e divo gra
Buhljune durimatenđe

Pe ćiro galbeno muj
Amaro manrro šućilo

BILAFESKO

Pherdilji munrri kalji jakh asvin
Katar o badali pelji e ćehrajin
E balvalja marenpe e raćaće sunenca
Ano pašipe o phuro parrne ćhorenca
Sar te paćardol ano gad pharrado
Anglal amende hincil o đućol parrno
E barr varekastar dural ćhudinjon
E rromane cahre ane umaljin vazdinjon
E paramići katar o dukhajpe khuvdol
O sap telal o barr phare latar mothol
E davuljaresko davulji ašundol tasade
Našti saston e rrapedime ilje dukhade
Pharrov maškar e raći thaj o đive
Bistar e bireslje thaj bićaćune sune

ROVOL E RAĆI

Rodav ćiri ućhaljin
Sar e milajesi ćehrajin
Šućarde me vuš e rrapedime
E bikamlje đilja ćerće khuvde
Maškar o suno thaj o bisunipe
Mothodilje e parrne gadenđe
Lunđardilo o maripe e davuljengo
Ano pašipe – kamljipe e terrnengo
Rovol e raći munrre tasvirenđe
Hincisaren e voša me paramićenđe
Safar rrote maškar e phađarde vordona
Uštade e bare phakalje gra munrre asva
Khoni khatinde khanikase ni mothol
Jekh ođi sar piri đilji e ćirikljaće garavol
Đikaj dural bašen e nahudime đućol
Jekh đuvdipe an piro šlberšipe dukhavol

MALADIPE

Sar te resav an ćire sune
Kana munrre e nahudime ćorde
E raća ćhordardilje pe droma
Dural asaje mandar e Rroma
Munrro šućardo ođi phabol
E rrapedime jag buhljol
Maladiljem e sapesa telal o barr
O ilo marol an mande bisovimasi dar
E ćehrajina po badali strefisarde
E davulja ane Rromani mahlava marde
Naštiv te pinđarav korkorre man
Pe mo boj ljenaći ćerći rran
Rovav e thanese ano pašipe
Asav e đuvdimase ano duripe
Pharrov iljeja – dobođisar ođeja

Alijia Krasnići (1952, Crkvena Vodica) writes in the Gurbet Romani dialect. He has written over 80 literary works in various genres. He is the author of the first play written by a Yugoslav Rom in Romani language, Carra me, carra tu… (1974). He holds as a strong tenant that the only way to enrich the Romani language is to publish in it. He completed studies in law and became active in activism related to Romani culture and life. He ended his activism when he moved to Serbia after the Kosovo conflict. There, he dedicated himself to literature and Romani language. He even created and edited various anthologies of Romani literature.

Planedenn paotr e bluenn by Mich Beyer

Planedenn paotr e bluenn by Mich Beyer

Trede lodenn

D’ar Gwener 1añ a viz Here 1920

Miz hanter zo aet hebiou hep na zigorfen ma c’haier. Chomet e skourr danevell ma devezhioù kentañ er skol. Bremañ diouzhtu e fell din, a-raok mont pelloc’h ganti, lakaat da gentañ war ar paper an darvoudoù o doa miret ouzhin da gontañ hiroc’h. Lakaat war ar paper, ya, kousto pe gousto e rin, a bennadoù berr moarvat, rak e-kerzh ar sizhunvezhioù tremenet on bet klañvaet rust hag em eus kollet kazi ma holl nerzh. Hiziv evit ar wech kentañ en em santan gwellaet ha ne gren ket mui kement ar Waterman etre ma bizied. Klaskomp mont war-raok eta, ha gwelet e vo…

An devezh-se, an 12 a viz Eost a oa, goude koan, e oan en em staliet ouzh ma zaol nevez, startijenn ganin, o ragempentiñ ar blijadur am befe da gontañ avantur ma c’hentañ devezhiadoù skol. Eñvoriñ an darvoudoù, bihan pe vras, reiñ buhez endro da santadurioù mesket ar mousig a oa bet ac’hanon, etre aon ha mall, deskrivañ pizh ha munut ar sal c’hlas, ar porzh, ar mestr-skol en e flotantenn liv al ludu, ar voused all kenoad ganin paket en o zavañjerioù, tavañjerioù nevez-flamm pe evit kalzik anezho traoù kozh bet takonet gant ar mammoù, ken abafet ha me oc’h ober anaoudegezh gant ar bed nevez se, stlak ar sokoù war plañchod ar sal c’hlas… Ya, un avantur, ha nag a draoù da gontañ!

O skrivañ edon neuze, ha me duet buan hag aes un hanterzousennad linennoù, pa’m boa klevet trouzioù digustum en tu all d’ar speurenn a zisparti ma rouantelezh diouzh hini Eujen Dagorn. War evezh e oan bet lakaet kerkent. N’eo ket Eujen paotr da blantañ reuz, siouloc’h egetañ ne vije ket kavet unan er sana en e bezh. Ha d’an eur diwezhat-se ouzhpenn! Un abeg all, sonnoc’h siwazh, a oa da’m nec’hamant: abaoe un toullad mat a zevezhioù e oa dalc’het Eujen en e gambr. Ne veze mui morse war ar pondalez-diavaez. Anv ebet da vont d’e weladenniñ, ha pa’m boa klasket tennañ amann eus gouzoug ar Gebenn ne’m boa bet evel-just nemet ur respont dister ha didalvoud. Evit lavarout splannoc’h an traoù e oan bet kaset rust da strakal brulu. Netra souezhus, ne rae ar Gebenn nemet sentiñ d’ar reolenn, Reolenn sakr an Tav, hag ouzhpenn-se e oan sur ne oa ket bet lonket ganti disoc’h afer an taolioù. Ranket em boa menel gant ma nec’hamant ha ma dic’houzvez…

Oc’h astenn ma skouarn edon, ma stilo er vann, hep krediñ ober ur fiñv. Tud o pilpazañ, mouezhioù hantervouget… Skoet e voe ouzh ma dor. Ne’m boa ket bet amzer da lavarout dont tre ma oa Blanchet o tamzigeriñ ha, diwar an treuzoù:

“Eliaz ma faotr, dav eo deoc’h dont ganin. Eujen, hoc’h amezeg, a zo en e angoni.”

Ha dre ma chomen hep grik ebet, digor ma genoù war nav eur gant an digompren:

“Ma c’hlevet ho peus, Eliaz? War e dremenvan emañ ho kamalad. Ne gav ket deomp e welo gouloù-deiz.”

“Met, Aotrou Blanchet, am boa satouilhet, petra a c’hellan-me… eus ur beleg eo en deus ezhomm kredapl, hag eus ar Sakramant! Kristen eo Eujen!”

“Ar wirionez ganeoc’h, Eliaz. Hag ar person zo bet, gant e vasikod. Graet o deus kement o doa d’ober, na rit ket biloù evit se. Met bremañ eo c’hwi hag a zo gortozet ouzh troad e wele. C’hwi ha den ebet all. Deuit diouzhtu war ma lerc’h, me ho ped.”

Me ho ped? Ur bedadenn ne oa ket. Ur gourc’hemenn ’ni ’oa. Eus ar seurt na droer ket hebiou dezhañ, ha pa vefe ho tivesker stag da grenañ hag ho kalon o pennfolliñ en ho pruched.

*

D’ar Sadorn 2 a viz Here 1920, da noz

Blanchet en doa damzigoret an nor, taolet ur sell diwar an treuzoù.

“Aet eo an infirmiourezed. En e-unan emañ. Bez’ e c’hellit mont.”

Ha serriñ an nor war ma lerc’h. War enaou e oa bet lezet ar gouloù-lein met paket e oa bet tro an tog-kleuzeur porselen gant ul lienenn danav a skañvae rusted ar gouloù. Digredusat tra, desachet e oa bet ma selloù da gentañ war-zu ar prenestr hag an nor werennet a sko war ar pondalez-diavaez. Digorfrank o-daou. Ar stered diniver o strinkellikat en oabl boull. Daoust d’an eur diwezhat e oa chomet klouar an amzer hag un avelig en em sile er gambr, evel ur flouradenn guñv. Pezh ne vire ket ouzhin a gridienniñ.

“Mard eo yen deoc’h, Eliaz, lakait war ho tivskoaz ar pallenn a zo e traoñ ma gwele, met, mar plij ganeoc’h, lezitme da glevout frondoù ar bed-mañ… evit ar wech diwezhañ. Sellit ’ta, pegen boull eo an noz!”

E vouezh, ma Doue! Ur skrij he c’hlevout. Daoust hag Eujen Dagorn e oa an hini a oa o paouez gervel warnon gant ar vouezh-se hag a denne d’ur ronkell skiltr, da ronkoù diwezhañ an angoni?

Ur momedig a zilavar. Kollet e oan. Ne ouien ket petra lavarout, ne ouien ket hag un dra bennak a oa da lavarout, ne ouien ket penaos en em zerc’hel, ne ouien ket petra ober eus ma c’horf, par d’ur pav-kaol skornet en em santen. Daoust ma oan bet abaoe pell kustumet d’ar marv, brezel ha kleñved o rodal hogos dizehan tro-dro din, e oa chomet un dra difetis evidon. Biskoazh ne oan en em gavet evit gwir e-tal unan war-nes tremen. Ha gwashat tra, galvet hag em unanpenn gantañ! Piv e oan ’ta evit bezañ lakaet da ambrouger diwezhañ?

“Deuit ’ta en ho koazez em c’hichen. Chomet eo kador ar beleg.”

Pleget em boa neuze. Ha sellet outañ. Hanter-azezet hanter-c’hourvezet edo Eujen, daou c’houbenner a oa bet lakaet dezhañ da harpañ e gein hag e benn. Morlivet e oa e vuzelloù hag e vizaj, war-bouez daou dakad ruz-tan war e zivjod kleuz. Sanket don e zaoulagad du-bran en o foull, skeudoù divalav liv ar glaou dindano. Dindan ar pallenn hag al liñsel, a-vec’h ma c’hellen damwelout stumm e gorf, ken kastizet e oa. Ne c’hellen ket dispegañ ma selloù diouzh fiñv al liñsel o luskañ stroñs dizingal e alanadennoù. Pa soñjan bremañ, miz hanter goude e varv, e teu ur goulenn war ma spered, ur goulenn skrijus: daoust ha bet e oan d’ar poent-se o trueziñ da’m faourkaezh kamalad war e dalaroù, peotramant e oan bet o rakwelet ma finvezh-me, ma finvezh douetus?

“Diouzh ar pouez ne dalvezfe ket daou wenneg-toull ar marc’h treut-askorn on deuet da vezañ, hañ? Met ne vern, rak n’eo ket hent ar foar emaon o toullañ… Na druezit ket din, Eliaz, ne c’houzañvjen ket… Goût ’rit perak em eus goulennet war ho lerc’h?”

“Ne ran ket. Lârit din, Eujen. Ma c’hellan ober un dra bennak…”

“Hag e c’hellit. Rannañ kaoz ganeoc’h am bije karet ober, dres evel a raemp hon-daou war ar pondalez aze… un dudi e veze din. Pezh zo, ken dinerzhet on… echu ha peurechu ganin mare an tabutoù… An aer a vank din… O vougañ emaon… Kement ger a daolan zo un drast din. Deoc’h-c’hwi e vo da derriñ an didrouz… Me ’garfe…”

“Ya? Lârit, nebaon.”

“Me ’garfe… Me ’garfe… Soñj peus dalc’het eus an deiz m’ho poa dibunet kement a draoù din a-zivout ho puhez bet? Ur gwir gofesadenn e oa bet, ma permetit d’ar beleg manket ac’hanon goapaat ur wech diwezhañ…. Me ’garfe… n’eo ket aes din lavarout… Me ’garfe selaou adarre istor Gabriel Gwiader. Ya, gwel’ ’rit, ne’m eus ket ankouaet e anv. Vad, mil vad a rafe din.

Skodeget-mik e oan. Divarc’het a-grenn. Ne oan ket evit krediñ. Na ne gomprenen ket abeg e c’houlenn. Ken dic’hortoz ar goulenn-se, ken stroñsus ivez, ma’z on manet mut, evel seizet. Ar wech kentañ ma’m boa kontet an traoùse dezhañ, tri miz a oa, e oa bet hogozik daoust din, pe reishoc’h lavaret, tost dic’houzvez din. Ken bras ezhomm am boa da zisammañ! Biskoazh ne’m boa bet betek-henn kavet nag ar galon d’en ober, na muioc’h ur skouarn prest da’m selaou. Hag Eujen, par d’un achanter madelezhus, en doa kavet an tu da zibrennañ ar skluz. Ne’m boa ket gellet mont hebiou. Ar froud a oa aet, groñs ha dishual. Evit kelo ha daoust d’an disamm a oa bet war an taol, ne oa ket pare ar gleizhenn a loske ma askre. Ar c’holl eus ma mignon a vanfe bev ha doanius da viken ennon. Gant se, en desped din bezañ bet dozvet mui pe vui ar soñj da fiziañ an darvoudoù-se em c’harnedoù, un dro bennak, ne oan ket sur da gaout nerzh a-walc’h d’en ober, ne baouezen ket a glask tro, dre gontañ a bep seurt eñvorennoù all, skañvoc’h, eus ar seurt a saourer hep skuizhañ. Betek ar raktres pirc’hirinaj d’e vro, daoust ha ne oa ket un hunvre, traken, un hunvre tonket da chom hep bezañ sevenet biken, dre ziouer a youl wirion? Marteze, met Eujen Dagorn a oa war e dremenvan, ha me tal-ha-tal gantañ… Ne vez ket dinac’het ober lavaroù diwezhañ an nen. Nann, ne vez ket graet. Kompren pe digompren ne vern, aes pe doanius-holl ne vern, ret eo mont.

“Ne lavarit netra, Eliaz? Ya, sebezus eo ma goulenn, a ouzon, dizereat-kenañ zoken. Ha mil doanius deoc’h, a ouzon ivez. Vad a rafe din, am eus lavaret, ya. Mil vad a rafe din klevout c’hoazh istor ar paotr kadarn-se, aet sonn e gein hag hep tortal davit dibenn e vuhez. Un tamm kalon am eus ezhomm d’an ampoent-mañ, kompren a rit? Skouer un ene divrall a sikourfe din d’ober ma zremen… Bennozh ar person hag an nouenn ne reont ket tout, pell a se, pell a se… Nag ar feiz, siwazh!

En em welout a ran, e-giz pa vijen c’hoazh er gambr gantañ: ur sell diwezhañ ouzh Eujen, ur sell a-gorn, abafet, ouzh e zaoulagad aspedus o skediñ gant an derzhienn. Desachañ a ran ar gador tostoc’h ouzh ar gwele. Ur sell c’hoazh war-zu ar stered, ar stered a garan kement, e-giz posupl e c’helljent reiñ nerzh din. Pleget ma c’hein, ma daouilin harp ouzh ma divorzhed, ma daouarn o souten ma fenn. En em glevout a ran ivez: ma mouezh o krenañ, raouliet, o teukañ ouzh ar gerioù kentañ…

“Soñj ho peus, Eujen, kontet em boa deoc’h pegen tost e oamp deuet da vezañ, Gabriel ha me, e-pad hor bloavezhiadoù studi. Diabarzhidi e oamp ha dre se e oamp dispartiet diouzh hor familh, pe da vihanañ e vezemp aliesoc’h en hor ser eget na vezemp e ser hor c’herent nes. Evit pezh ’oa hor c’henskolidi, e gwir pe e gaou ne gavemp ket o darempred gwall zedennus. Evito da vezañ holl mui pe vui kenoad ganeomp e lakaemp anezho da grennarded diechu, speredoù pout, droch ha dizudi… Brabañserezh lu eus hor perzh moarvat, met evel-se e oa, kilheien yaouank e oamp-ni ivez, petra ’reot! Kresket ha donaet ar vignoniezh etrezomp a-feur ma’z ae an amzer. Estreget war an amzer skol en em welemp. Ur wechig ar mare, Gabriel a rente bizit din dumañ, ha me, aliesoc’h a rankan lavarout, a yae da Derrug. Un dudi e veze din an devezhiadoù-se. Gant Yann-Vari Gwiader dreist-holl en em santen em aez. A-fed mennozhioù ne oa ket gwall zisheñvel diouzh ma zad, met pelloc’h e oa aet en e breder, a gave din. Pe marteze, o vezañ ma oa brasoc’h ha klokoc’h e zeskamant, e ouie, dre e vicher paneveken, displegañ fraeshoc’h e vennozhioù. Tad a embanne, Yann-Vari a zisplege. Bezet pe vezet e oa kreñv-eston e levezon war ma spered paotr yaouank. Evel spoueennoù eo spered ar yaouankizoù, ne c’houlennont ’met bezañ intret, ha Gabriel koulz ha me a saoure kentelioù Yann-Vari evel un died startijennus… Goude marv Gabriel… O! Ket diouzhtu, met tamm-ha-tamm, ez eo en em silet em spered ar goulenn trubuilhus-mañ: daoust ha muzuliet en doa Yann-Vari pegen pell, pegen don, e c’hellfe speredoù ar baotred yaouank a oa ac’hanomp bezañ levezonet gant e brezegennoù peoc’hgarour aheurtet? Daoust ha soñjet en doa pegen dibleg ha divrall e teufe e vab da vezañ? Anat deoc’h, Eujen, biskoazh ne’m eus bet kalon da sevel ar goulenn outañ.

“Erru e oa dibenn hor bloavezh staj. Miz Gouere 14 a oa, ha gantañ brudoù brezel o tedostaat, o kemer muioc’hmui liv un dazont teñval lakaet d’erruout, abred kentoc’h eget diwezhat. En desped da se, pe abalamour da se, e oamp mennet da seveniñ hor raktres troiad war velo. Echu da vat hor studioù, hor bloavezh staj, ha neuze echu prantad chañsus ar goursez, erru e oamp en oad d’ober hor c’hoñje. Brezel pe beoc’h a ve, gant al lezennoù nevez e oa dirazomp tri bloavezh pell diouzh ar gêr, pell diouzh ar vro. Tri bloavezh disparti. Ne oa ket anv neuze da zilezel hor raktres. D’an 22 hor boa lakaet deiz al loc’hañ. Savet e oamp war hor marc’hoù-houarn e Kledenn, leun-tarzh hor seier-kein, ken karget all ar sakochennoù bet prenet nebeudik a-raok, ha biskoazh ne zellezas dougoù-samm o anv evel hor re. Pa oa bet treset pep tennad gant skoazell ar c’hartennoù-hent e oamp bet difur a-walc’h evit chom hep soñjal hor befe da zougen ken pounner a samm. Ma, bezet pe vezet e oamp bet feal a-walc’h d’hon divizoù. E-tro hanter-kant kilometr bemdez. Kledenn, Lokorn, Ploudiern hag ar Menez-C’homm, Argol, ar Faou… Ne rin ket deoc’h danevell hon tennadoù dre ar munud, a-walc’h e vo deoc’h gouzout ne oa nemet braventez e pep lec’h. Esmae, estlamm ha sabatur, sed aze petra e oa roll hor meuzioù bemdez. Eno, er Faou, hor boa kemeret bag an treizhour da gaout Daoulaz ha Logonna.

“Koulz ha me, Eujen, e ouezit n’eo ket gwall baot an tennadoù hent plaen en hor bro! Dre forzh krapañ-digrapañ e oa krog ar pistig daonet e diaz ma skevent da’m hegaziñ muioc’h-mui. Daoust ma raemp kalzik a arsavioù evit arvestiñ ouzh kened ar vro, ouzh an ilizoù ha chapelioù, ouzh kement hensavadur a oa war-dro hon hent, ouzh ar maezioù ken kaer, kel liesseurt, daoust ma talveze deomp pep predig merenn kement hag ur prantad diskuizh deuet mat, e c’houzañven, gwashoc’h-gwashañ. Lies gwech en em gave Gabriel pellik dirazon hag e ranke chom da’m gortoz. Kaer ’m boa kuzhat, pe klask kuzhat, en doa komprenet buan, ha pa oamp erru e Logonna en doa graet van da vezañ skuizh-divi hag en doa kinniget ober ur gwir ehan. Vakañsoù e-kreiz ar vakañsoù! Chomet e oamp daou zevezh leun e gourenez Logonna. Gant ur peizant e oamp bet aotreet da gousket en e c’hrañj. Hag evit kousket hor boa kousket, evel broc’hed, diouzh an noz ha war an deiz! Truezus e oa ar gwel ac’hanomp, a dra sur, rak pedet e oamp bet da goaniañ gant e wreg, ur gwir friko, ha pa oamp loc’het en-dro antronoz da c’houloù-deiz, a-raok na vije re loskus an heol, hor boa kavet pourvezioù fresk e-kichen hor marc’hoù-houarn: un dorzh-vara, ur pikol trañchenn fourmaj-rous paket en ur mouchouer, hag ur volennad sivi! Ur follennig paper a oa bet silet dindan ar bara: “Ar mouchouer a c’hellit kas ganeoc’h, met debrit tout ar sivi a-raok mont ha lezit ar volenn war ho lerc’h, mar plij ganeoc’h.” N’on ket evit lavarout deoc’h, Eujen, pegen fromet e oamp bet gant kement a vadelezh. Fromet, ha startijennet eus ar c’haerañ.

“Da-c’houde-se e oamp aet trema Landerne, pegen koant ha birvidik ar gêr-se, hag ar pont war an Elorn gant e diez kozh! Ken brav all Roc’h-Morvan hag e gastell-greñv, meurdezus an dismantroù anezhañ e beg e roc’h skoet gant ar pevar avel! Ha roc’hoù lemm e pep lec’h, ha koadeier fonnus, hag e pep lec’h saflik an dourigoù! Echuet e oa bet an tennad e Sizun, ne oamp ket bet gwall vamet gant ar bourkig trist-se, ya, gwall drist hor boa kavet anezhañ en desped d’e iliz ha d’e c’hloz meurdezus. Antronoz e oamp loc’het warzu Sant-Riwall, un tennad naou-dinaou gwall rust adarre ma oamp bet rekouret brav gant ar freskijenn dindan ar gwez stank. Ac’haleno, dao war Menez Mikel. Mennet e oamp da gousket e skeud mogerioù ar chapelig, ha goude bezañ c’hwezet dourek o kas hor marc’hoù-houarn dre o barrennstur, rak ul lazh-korf e vije bet troadikellat war un hent meinek ken par da hini ar Golgotha, hor boa bet digoll hor poan gant arvest ur c’huzh-heol kaer-eston. Ya, un digoll sofkont… Biskoazh ken kaer! Gabriel ne ehane ket a estlammiñ: “O ma Doue benniget, pegen brav, pegen brav, n’eo ket Doue posupl!” Ha me evel-just oc’h ober goap outañ. “O ma Doue benniget, sed aze Gabriel Gwiader, pagan echu, o kanañ meuleudi da Zoue!” Ha da heul, e-giz boaz pa veze kaoz goap kenetrezomp, hag alies e veze, ur c’hrogad gouren dizampart war al letonenn flour a ra an dro d’ar chapelig. Ha c’hoarzh, c’hoarzh, c’hoarzh.

Mich Beyer (1948, Douarnenez, France) is a teacher of Breton language and author of several novels and short stories written in Breton. She has taught in a variety of schools and even taught pedagogy to future teachers of the Breton language. She began publishing in 1991 with Ar Pennoù Koltar war an enez and has won the 2006 Prix France 3, the 2008 Prix Langleiz, the 2010 Prix Pêr Mokaer, and more. Planedenn paotr e bluenn (2022, The Destiny of the one Who Wrote) is her most recent novel.

Poems by Alija Krasnići

Poems by Alija Krasnići, translated from the author’s Serbian translation by Teodora Avramovic

SILVER STARS

Flickering words over the fields above the gypsy wagons.
And a miraculous contact with fire erases all their past
While the gypsy waited for night to hide the starry stories
Her dreams became the illusions of wandering and her song sad
               and cursed

The immersive silent songs of the gypsy in the murky river sank
And from her soul as if the silver stars had disappeared
Eyes cannot be closed by the guard as the gypsy is the one
               who sleeps in silence
It was as if she wanted to bring joyfulness and warmth
               back to all homes.

Black night empties with the hands of the gypsy mockingly
               and seemingly silently
And while the strange fire doesn’t want to turn twilight
into a white day
Sad and tired, she wanted to express what her soul was dreaming
Early lost dreams in the late hours petrified silent
Eyes filled with tears stirred up with silver stars

FAIRY TALE AND HEART

Fortune Teller you were born with a gypsy wagon and white horses.
The weather has become dark and heavy
Happiness hung from the branches of a dry tree
You whispered words from dry and hungry lips
A forgotten fairy tale will remain the pain of your life

You wanted to become a source of dreams yes
You tell fortunes of the unfortunate dark-skinned with ashes
She spoke your grandmother’s tongue of fire
And thirst quenched from the rivers of your forefathers

You name night devils with drums
You sing them a song of departure
You melt lead and sweat a tired face
By talking about the hearth, you put the body to sleep


SILVER STARS

Flickering words over the fields above the gypsy wagons.
And a miraculous contact with fire erases all their past
While the gypsy waited for night to hide the starry stories
Her dreams became the illusions of wandering and her song sad
               and cursed

The immersive silent songs of the gypsy in the murky river sank
And from her soul as if the silver stars had disappeared
Eyes cannot be closed by the guard as the gypsy is the one
               who sleeps in silence
It was as if she wanted to bring joyfulness and warmth
               back to all homes.

Black night empties with the hands of the gypsy mockingly
               and seemingly silently
And while the strange fire doesn’t want to turn twilight
               into a white day
Sad and tired, she wanted to express what her soul was dreaming
Early lost dreams in the late hours petrified silent
Eyes filled with tears stirred up with silver stars

GETTING TO KNOW THE LANGUAGE OF NATURE

Not everyone can count the stars in the sky.
To speak the language of birds
To sing about the life of the gypsy
About the green fields with Djurdjevdan flowers
Poems about the bones of unmarked graves
Distances travelled with the path of the sun

Oh man, the words of pain were born with me
Performed at Homer’s Theatre
The soul burns in flames for an unwritten legend
Life is too short for a revival.
Oh, my happiness, distance yourself after my mother’s death

You can’t find a more unhappy one in the white world
The depths won’t let you call him by name
To believe my verses
You should experience my life.

SOLITUDE

My solitude converses with the stone
A long road in a chilly gypsy wagon
The stone whispers the fairy tale of life

A child cries for a lost dream
My life goes by on the way home
The wind swirls and changes my direction.

I see the death of the night with my eyes
My day is lagging behind time.

MY SYMBOLS

When I was a kid
A sorcerer was telling my fortune in a crystal ball
One day I will become a Tzar.
Or maybe a stone slave

There were different dreams
The green eyes shocked me.
I lost my gypsy wagon in the field.
And my life a stone myth

My muse of green fields
Stop my eternal wanderings
The river has no abyss
In which my sufferings are born

CAULDRON OF WANDERING

In the paleness of your face
The Paths of My Ancestors
Told over the quiet fires
In the flames of your eyes

The stars of our quests
On the lips of the rose

Dried potatoes
For unborn children
Wild horses
And distant expanses

In the paleness of your face
Our daily bread

NO WORDS

My black eyes filled with tears
A star has fallen from the sky
The winds are fought by night dreams
Close by a whitebeard old man
It is like he is twisting in his shabby shirt
Before us wails a white dog
Stones are thrown at someone in the distance
Gypsy wagons and tents in the fields are rising
A fairy tale woven out of pain
The snake under the rock hardly tells of it
Geese, gaggling is heard faintly
You can’t cure a flared wounded heart
Break between night and day
Forget the unattainable and unreal dreams

THE NIGHT WEEPS

I’m looking for your shadow
Like a summer star
My lips dried up with flames
Unwanted songs bitterly woven
Between dreams and sleepless nights
The white shirts appeared
The goosebumping continues
Nearby, the love of youth
The night cries with my pictures
The forests sob to my fairy tales
What wheels among broken wagons
The great winged horses have trodden my tears
No one tells anyone anywhere
A soul like its song to a bird hides
From a distance, angry dogs bark
One life in its century grieves

MEETING

How do I get into your dreams
When my angry ones were stolen
The night fell apart on the roads
From a distance, the Gypsies smiled at me.
My dried-up soul is burning
A blazing fire flares up
I met a snake under a rock
My heart beats inside me, sleepless fear
The stars in the sky began to shine
The geese in the Gypsy settlement Mahala began banding
I cannot recognize myself
On my body willow bitter from the river
I cry for a place nearby.
I laugh at life in the distance.
Break my heart – sob my soulmate

Alijia Krasnići (1952, Crkvena Vodica) writes in the Gurbet Romani dialect. He has written over 80 literary works in various genres. He is the author of the first play written by a Yugoslav Rom in Romani language, Carra me, carra tu… (1974). He holds as a strong tenant that the only way to enrich the Romani language is to publish in it. He completed studies in law and became active in activism related to Romani culture and life. He ended his activism when he moved to Serbia after the Kosovo conflict. There, he dedicated himself to literature and Romani language. He even created and edited various anthologies of Romani literature.

Fenten Feryl by Tim Saunders

Fenten Feryl by Tim Saunders

Y’n termyn usi tremmenys, yth esa trigys yn Itali den Feryl a y hanow, y’n tyller henwys Mantow. Bardh o ev, yn-kurunys a dhel herwydh gis berdh a vri, yn-unn gana yn kever arvow ha gorholyon, a dhenyon ha benenes, hag a’n pyth a via y’n termyn a dheu.

Pur dhyskys yn gramer ha dargana ydh o Feryl, hag y skrifas ev lyvrow yn-dan edya tus bys y’n jydh hedhyw. Yth hembronkya ev tus dre goesow tywl, ha diskwedhes dhedha gwlaskordhow Annown. Ha dhodho ev yth esa fenten y’gan pow ni, may fydha an dowr ow perthi vertu down. Owth eva an dowr may fydha bodi pynnag ow kweles pan- dra re bia kyns hag ynwedh pandra a dheuva, mes yn peril merwel ow skonya mones war-yow gans an swynnennow, po ow mones war-yow yn-re skon.

Orth krowshyns an morow yma Naw Kevrank agan pow ni, hag a’n le may fydh tus a golonn ow mora dhe beswar bann an bys. Yth yw henna gwir hedhyw, ha gwir o y’n hen amser ha marnoryon ow talleth gordhya Manowan Vab Lyr yn duw an Dhegves Gevrank, an Mor. Y fydh rann ow kortos tramor po war fordh verr po war fordh hir, rann ow tehweles yn bri ha sowynn, ha rann ow tehweles yn anken hag ankov. Yn feus po yn anfeus, y fydh an rei re dramoras fest a-venowgh ow miras yn-tro war hyns aga thrumaj, hag assaya lergha aga fordh dre’n bys. Ha mar ny vydh gorthep gwiw gans an re erell, traweythyow y tal troesya an tres dhe Fenten Feryl, ha pysi an bardh delbenn na a swynnennow a’n kreun eno.

Yn-pell a froth an dygoel,
   yn mysk an ardhow moel,
yn-yeyn y stif unn fenten
   lyr ylyn bys yn kreun,
        ha gwrygh an Loer dre’n lyr
        a sudh yn kyr ha kyr.

Dhe’n fenten yeyn y’n deserth
   y klofav vy y’m kerth
ha pysi Feryl dhelbenn
   a swynnenn a y geug prenn,
        unn swynnenn lan heb stronk
        a wlygh peub krinder lonk.

Ha’n bresel yn y worfenn,
   pan dheu an gas dhe-benn,
py edhomm vyth a’n kasor,
   py res vyth war neb kor?
        Yth eth tus vro dhe-skwith
        a y govow trosek brith.

Gans ughel ha gans isel
   pub dydh y hwilav hwel:
yn tavern hag yn eglos,
   orth men ha meynk ha moes
        y tevyn kyrow skov
        yn-town yn dor ow hov.

Ankevi my a’n assay
   yn tavern ryb an kay
tros taran ha losk lughes,
   lagasow own a-les:
        orth diwbalv igor ben
        ow solsow lows a len.

Ottomma, a dus vryntin,
   ott dhywgh, a bobel fîn,
an re na res ankovsowgh,
   re golonn ha brys trogh:
        kepar hag ydh’n y’n prysk,
        ymons hwath y’gas mysk.

Yn romow tewl yth evons
   dre’n geskan ha dre’n dhons,
gans kothman ha gans keswest
   yn goel ha fer ha fest
        mayth a ow dydh dhe nos,
        may koskav war an ros.

Y sev an hen bennkervys
   y’n gorflann, yn sorn klys,
war leghenn las y’n eglos
   ott henwyn mus yn-oes,
        ha lent y koedh an neus
        a’n vaner goth y’n skeus.

Ottomma vy, unn nosweyth,
   ha’n stretow’n-kler ha breyth,
yn-leun a venestrouthi,
   kan, salus, hwardh, ha kri,
        ow pagla’n-tromm a-res
        a hudh an routh a y res.

Yn kres knowwydhek dhelvyw
   kollbrennyer byth na wyw
a dovas y’n hen amser
   a gnow a goes an ster:
        yn-ylyn y lemm dowr
        leun vertu ha leun powr.

An neb a dheu dhe Feryl,
   dh’y wobans y’n gwydh kyll,
an neb a ev a’y fenten,
   po swynnenn goeg po leun,
        a’n jevydh pols gwel glan
        dre’n oesow oll a wan.

Yn sketh heliys marnor,
   yn gwisk pluw frank an mor,
dhe vester hus ha haloen,
   dhe ser mil hwyster soen,
        kepar ha skommenn dreth
        yn-tifreth my re dheuth.

Tri govynn ev a’s govynn
   pan dhov dh’y wobans ynn:
ow hanow gwir ha’w myster,
   ha’w desir drudh ha ker
        rag eva vertu men
        a’n fenten bever yeyn.

“Key ov, gwas a’n mor difeyth,
   trummaja’n-pell ow gweyth,
ha kedhlow sur y’s hwilav
   a voren geder vrav
        a geris nans yw oes,
        ha’y hireth hwath mar boes.”

Ha’n del a wydh or Annown
   a-dov a wreydh klor down
a-dro dh’y benn, ott Feryl
   ow styrya, “Gwel an kyll
        a dev war lannow’nn greun
        a lyr ken bys yn-leun.

“Dhe’n dowr pan goedhas kollenn,
   dhe’n lyr dri blas a’n prenn,
teyrgweyth res terri syghes
   war-nug, poneyl y res
        dha hodhel bys dh’y fin
        a skonder delenn grin.

“A dhel re blethis kurun
   yn golow kann an Lun,
ha gavel dhymmo danjer
   a gerth kordh oer an ster
        war vu pub hedhyw lomm
        yn-dann an ebron gromm.

“Pub hedhyw yn oes Norvys,
   pub hedhyw les-ha-hys,
pub de oll yn y hedhyw,
   ha pub avorow byw
        a derr pub syghes kras
        a lyr a’w skudell vas.

“Res dhiso lowa ommaj
   dhe boell ha kur ha rach;
mantolya gwra, dhymm musur
   a vo dhis hwans yn-sur
        igeri’n porthow down
        may tewreg joy hag own.

“Heb hokkya dhymm nag ervir,
   dha syghes dhymmo styr,
dha hyns pub kamm dhe’w gobans,
   ha tardhla down dha hwans!”
        “A’w bodh y styryav dhis
        ow hyns dhe’th tu dre’n bys.

“Orth dalleth glan an bresel,
   hwath kro an krow war wel,
y keris a leun golonn
   un voren vleudh hy bronn,
        hy hara’n-roedh ha skav
        un dohajydh y’n Hav.”

“An voren mars y’s kersis,”
   y’n medh ev, “pandr’o pris
dha drummach fers dhe’n downlas?
   Py wobern o mar vras
        rag gasa ben, heb lay
        yn oelva war an kay?”

“Yth esa gorwalgh warnav
   a’y owrwols ha’y fass vrav,
heb pysi ha heb govynn
   may ledris byrl hag amm,
        ha skapya my a’n gwrug
        dhe’n flour yn fisten fug.”

“Dehwelys bys yn tiredh
   pan eses,” dhymm y’n medh
an soenor, “prag a-dhehwans
   yn gwel ha pras ha pans
        na holsis lergh dha ven
        yn stret ha plas ha plen?”

“Es lowr yn eur an glori,
   re roedh y’n klos ha’n bri,”
y’n styris, “yth o ervir
   dilesel kov ha styr
        pub hanow ha pub ger
        yn tervyans foll an fer.

“Y’n gobons pols y hwelis
   yn-roedh ha skav ow gis,
ha gwevya war-vin karlamm
   ha dhedhi hwytha amm
        ha fyski’n-dann an flour
        dhe vysk an wesyon dhour.

“Pan goedh pub goel a’n dele,
   pan vleujyow gwernow’n-fre,
pan wonidh derag ewon
   a-dhowdu saldres ynn,
        has boll gwanegow meyn
        a les y’n glaskroft yeyn.

“Re dhew flowr hel an vorwer,
   Manowan hweg Vab Lyr,
ha ren y bedrenn dheghow
   y lighis heb unn gow
        del vien marnor gwir
        bys troesya arta’n tir.

War did an keth gorthugher,
   a-dreus an lyr a ler,
y foris y’n lu-lestri,
   koes gwernow war an li’:
        a-dro dhe dro yn-tromm
        yth hartha kanvas kromm.

“Yn goelyas po yn powes,
   heb gwyns vyth po a-dres,
yn helghyans po kevammok,
   yn lewgh po niwl po mog,
        ott ayr ow perthi powr,
        ha trumm owth aras dowr.”

“Mes lemmyn dhymmo lavar,”
   y’n medh an prydydh hwar,
“py eryow hweg a’th foren
   a wre kov aga doen?”
        “Ger diblans vyth y’n bys,”
        y’n medhis, “’dho dhe’w brys.

“Skeus gwen orth amal hunros,
   lev klor yn spavenn vros,
anadhla tewl war gonna,
   ayr nos yn-kriv pan a
        dre we lovanow tynn
        dhe ganvas poes a rynn.

“Degh, hedhyw, hag avorow,
   gwern, goelyow, flour, korf kow,
trumm syth, hag estyll gwastas,
   prenn kromm, topp, dele, stras:
        yn burdhen meul ha marth
        y sonons i war-barth.

Y sen pub prenn ha lovan,
   pub kentrenn oll a gan,
y hwers klegh glan pub goelyas
   a’n topp dhe buth an stras,
        desedha kovow pell,
        kompesi hireth fell.

“Ethweyth yn-lel y feulir
   y’n woelyas Mab gwynn Lyr,
gans klogh a gan y Ofig
   a daves olkan strik,
        ha ’dhyn, merwelyon wann,
        an gorwel yw y lann.

“Yn goelyas lent an pervedh,
   an ster may syger tredh,
a-dro dhe dhew ons bakka
   yn-terghys a bleg da,
        y trovyis lyther sergh,
        ger galar kolonn vyrgh.

“Y trovyis ger darbarvamm
   yn dornskrif moen hwymm-hwamm,
dh’y heryas pell kri yeunes
   dre dhagrow, ha may pes
        a hanow gwiw gwreg vas,
        dh’y baban hi, y das.”

“Ha henna dhis o skila
   yn aswels tromm dha fe
ervira re sergh nowydh
   dhe’n ven re th karsen’n rydh?”
        “Fe? Sergh? Mann war neb kor
        yn mysk freuth freth an mor!

“Ha’n dornow war unn lovan,
   ha’n levow yn unn gan,
ha’n lester a-lamm dre’n myttin
   hag askorn yn y vin,
        gwir vreder len yth en,
        un golonn vras heb ken.

“Pan dreussyn an Kehysedh,
   dhe’n Deghow larj a’n Kledh,
yn gordhyans dhe Vanowan
   y hwrussyn dons gans kan
        yn-feri war an flour
        lomm lollas gans pub gour.

“Manowan ha’y dhiwbedrenn
   y’s sakryn oll yn tenn
leun vertu flowr an lollas,
   oferenn pluw’n woen las,
        ha gordhyans gwynn Mab Lyr
        a selow kig an wyr.

“War-bols yn gorboell tewedh,
   mar hweg del via bedh!
Hag ena, klor a spavenn,
   na dheffo byth dhe-benn!
        Y tyll an mor pub lev
        hen Ifarn dhown ha Nev.

“Yn-poes y kilya gwynsnerth
   a vur an alsyow serth,
ha teghi’n-hworth a’n ammuk
   an lyrow lymm a wrug,
        hag eskern fethys keth
        a skolkya war an treth.

“Treth hirlomm po als dornwynn
   karn, ynys, porth, po rynn,
lyr loeslas bys dhe’n gorwel,
   po jorna yn-dann sel
        hen vesont skon a deudh:
        war-yow ni a’a heb keudh –

“– heb keudh vyth, lemen browagh,
   ha goli, kreyth, ha kragh;
ot korf ha korf yn kanvas
   a lag dhe vedhros las:
        keudh vyth oll, lemen euth,
        ha moredh fell a veudh.

Tim Saunders (1956, Cornwall, England) writes in Cornish, Welsh, Irish, Breton, and English. He is originally from Cornwall and primarily writes in the Cornish language. He has written poetry in Cornish since 1974, and as a literary historian, he has published an anthology of Cornish poetry from 1850–1980 titled The Wheel. He published two additional anthologies: Nothing Broken (2006), which focuses on contemporary Cornish poetry, and Looking at the Mermaid (2000), which collects Cornish literature from 900–1900. In 1998, he was named bard of the Gorsedh Kernow. Fenten Feryl / Virgil’s Fountain appeared in 2019, published bilingually in Cornish and English translation by the author.

Planedenn paotr e bluenn by Mich Beyer

The Destiny of the One Who Wrote by Mich Beyer, translated by Kuzul ar Brezhoneg

Part Three

Friday, October 1, 1920

Half a month went by without me opening my notebook. The story of my first school days laying unfinished. Right now I want, before going any further, to first write down the events that prevented me from saying more about it. I will write everything down on paper, indeed, and will do so at all costs, little by little, probably, since I have been doing very badly in the last weeks, and lost nearly all of my strength. Today is the first day that I feel better and the Waterman pen is not trembling as much as it used to between my fingers. I shall give it a try, and we will see…

That day, on August the 12th after supper, I was sat at my new table, full of energy, anticipating the enjoyment I would feel telling the story of my first school days. Remembering the events, big or small, describing at length the classroom, the playground, the teacher in his ash grey coat, my fellow classmates wrapped in their aprons — some brand new but most of them patched by the mothers —, as intimated as I was by this new world, the noise of the footsteps on the classroom’s wooden floor… Quite an adventure indeed and so many things to tell!

As I was writing, then — I had quickly put down half a dozen lines — I heard unusual noises on the other side of the wall separating my kingdom from Eujen Dagorn’s. That immediately caught my attention. Eujen is not messy, and one could not find a calmer person in the whole sanatorium. And it was such a late hour! There was another reason, sadly even more obvious, that made me worried: Eujen had been locked in his room for quite a few days. He did not go on the balcony anymore. Visiting him was out of the question and when I tried to convince the Shrew in a desperate effort, all I obviously had in return was a poor and meaningless answer. To put it simply, I was abruptly told where to get off. That was no surprise, the Shrew was only abiding by the rules, the sacred Code of Silence, and I was certain that she had not come to terms with the outcome of the tables case. I had to remain with my worries and ignorance.

I was listening carefully, holding my pen in the air, not daring to make a move. I could hear little steps, muffled voices… Someone knocked at my door. I hardly had time to tell them to come in before Blanchet half-opened the door and said from the doorstep:

“Eliaz, you have to come with me. Eujen, your neighbour, is in agony.”

And since I was staying silent, gawping at him, he added:

“Did you hear me, Eliaz? Your friend is dying. We do not think he will make it through the night.”

“But, Mister Blanchet,” I spluttered, “What can I… He needs a priest, I think… and to be given the last rites! Eujen is a Christian!”

“You are right, Eliaz. The priest came with the altar boy. They did what they had to do, do not worry. But now it is your turn to come to his bedside. You and no one else. Come right after me, please.”

“Please?” That was no invitation. That was an order. The kind of order you can but follow, even when your legs start shaking and you can feel your heart racing in your chest.

*

Saturday, October 2, 1920, at night

Blanchet half-opened the door, and glanced from the doorstep.

“The nurses are no longer here. His is on his own. You can get in.”

And he closed the door behind me. The ceiling light had been left on but someone had put a thin cloth around the china lampshade, which made the light softer. Surprisingly, my eyes were first caught by the window and the glass door that led to the balcony. Both of them were wide open. There were countless stars shining in the clear sky. Despite the late hour, the weather was warm and a light breeze was blowing into the bedroom, like a gentle caress. Which did not prevent me from shivering.

“If you are cold, Eliaz, you can put the blanket that is down my bed on your shoulders, but please, let me smell the scents of this world… for the last time. Just look at how clear the night is!”

His voice, dear me! It made me shiver. Was it Eujen Dagorn that I just heard calling me with that voice that sounded like a high-pitched rattle, like a death rattle?

There was a moment of silence. I was lost. I did not know what to say, nor if I should say anything. I did not know how to stand or what to do with my body. I felt like an imbecile. Although death and I had been familiar for a long time, with war and diseases raging endlessly around me, it was still an abstract idea to me. I had never actually been around a dying person. And worst of all, I had been called to come to see him and was on my own with him! Who was I to be chosen as his last guide?

“Come sit by my side. The priest’s chair has been left here.”

I complied. And I looked at him. Eujen was half sat half stretched out, they had put two pillows to hold his back and his head. His lips and his face were pale, apart from two scarlet spots on his hollow cheeks. His dark black eyes were sunk deep in their holes, with an ugly coal-like shade under them. I could barely see the shape of his body under the bed sheet and the blanket, because of how thin he had gotten. I could not take my eyes off the bed sheet moving at the irregular rhythm of his breathing. When I think of it now, a month and a half month after his death, a question comes to my mind, a scary question: had I been feeling sorry for my poor dying friend, or had I been foreseeing my own probable end?

“I am just skin and bones now. If I were to be sold by weight I would not be worth a penny, would I? But that does not matter since I do not intend to go to the fair… Do not pity me, Eliaz, I could not bare it… Do you know why I have asked to see you?”

“I do not. Tell me, Eujen, if there is anything I can do…”

“There is. I would have loved to talk with you, like we used to do on the balcony… I really enjoyed that. However, I am so weak… The time for debates is long gone for me… I am short of breath… I am suffocating… Pronouncing a single word is a huge effort. You will have to break the silence… I would like…”

“Yes? You can tell me.”

“I would like… I would like… Do you remember the day you told me so many things about your former life? That was an actual confession, if you allow the failed priest that I am to make one last joke… I would like… this is difficult to say… I would like to hear Gabriel Gwiader’s story again. You see, I have not forgotten his name. That would make me feel good, very good.”

I was stunned. Absolutely bewildered. I could not believe it. Nor did I understand the reason for his request. That was so unexpected and came as such a shock that I stayed silent, as if paralyzed. When I told him that story for the first time, three months before, I did so without even noticing or, I should say, almost unthinkingly. I had such a need to get things off my chest! Until then, I had never found the strength to do it nor someone willing to listen. Eujen, that kind magician, had found the way to open the floodgate and I could not but follow the stream. On went the flow, strong and unhindered. For what it’s worth and despite the relief I felt at the moment, the scar that made my chest burn was not healed. The loss of my friend would remain within me and hurt me forever. Therefore, although I had decided to entrust these facts to my notebook, I was not sure I had the strength to do it, I could not stop beating about the bush, telling all sorts of less relevant memories of the kind one does not get tired of. I was even wondering about his pilgrimage project. Was it nothing more than a dream? A doomed dream due to a lack of proper will? It might be so but Eujen Dagorn was dying, and I was face to face with him… You cannot deny a person’s last will. Definitely not. Whether I understood them or not, whether difficult or not, I had to comply.

“You are not saying anything, Eliaz? You must find my question quite surprising indeed, even completely uncalled for. And I also know that you are full of sorrow. It would do me good, like I said. It would do me a lot of good to hear the story of that brave man, who stood up without hesitation despite his approaching end. I need someone to warm my heart, do you understand? The example of an unwavering soul would help me reach the end… The blessing of a priest and the last rites are not everything, far from it… Neither is faith, sadly!”

I can still see myself in the room with him: one last glance at Eujen, a shy sidelong glance at his imploring eyes gleaming with the fever. I put the chair closer to the bed. One more glance at the stars, the stars I love so much, as if they could make me stronger. My back is bent, my elbows on my thighs, my hands supporting my head. I can hear myself too: my hoarse voice trembling, stumbling over the first words…

“You remember, Eujen, when I told you how close Gabriel and I had become during our studies. We were boarders so we did not get to see our families much, or at least, we spent more time together than we did with our parents. As for our classmates, for right or wrong, we did not find much interest in socializing with them. Although they were more or less the same age, we considered them as immature teenagers, unintelligent and uninteresting fools… That was ridiculous boastfulness on our part, probably, but there you go, we were little brats too, what can I say? As time went by, our friendship grew and deepened. We would meet outside of school too. Sometimes, Gabriel would come to visit me at home, and I, more often I have to say, would go to Telgruc. I loved these days. I especially felt at ease with Yann-Vari Guyader. His ideas were not that different from my father’s, but I thought his thinking went further. Or maybe his knowledge being more profound and broader, he knew how to express his ideas more clearly. Dad talked, Yann-Vari explained. Be that as it may, he had a strong influence on the young boy I was. Young people’s brains are like sponges, all they are asking for is to absorb, and Gabriel and I enjoyed Yann-Vari’s lessons as much as an invigorating drink… After Gabriel’s death… Oh! Not right away but little by little, this disturbing question arose in my mind: did Yann-Vari actually assess how strongly and deeply our young men’s minds could be influenced by his obstinate pacifist speeches? Did he realize how inflexible and unwavering his son would become? Obviously, Eujen, I never had the courage to ask him.

“The end of our courses arrived. It was July 14th. War rumours were spreading and it looked like the future would be dark sooner rather than later. Despite that, or because of that, we were determined to carry out our bicycle trip. Our studies and training year had come to an end, and so did our happy exemption period. It was time for military service. Whether or not our country was at war, we would spend the next three years far from home and our country. Three years separated from each other. So there was no question of abandoning our project. The departure was set for the 22nd. We got on our bicycles in Cléden, our backpacks chock-a-block, as were the saddlebags we had bought not long before. Carriers had never deserved their name more than ours. When drawing a route with the help of our road maps, we were unwise enough to forget we would have to carry such heavy luggage. But anyway, we managed to stick to our plan. Around 30 miles a day. Cléden, Locronan, Ploudiern and the Menez Hom, Argol, Le Faou… I will not describe our route in detail, all you need to know is that beauty was everywhere. Excitement, fright, and bewilderment: such was our daily program. Once in Le Faou, we took the boat to Daoulas and Logonna.

“You know as well as I do, Eujen, that straight routes are scarce in our country! The more we went uphill and downhill, the more my bloody stitch was hurting at the top of my lungs. Despite the regular halts we made to look at the countryside — so magnificent and yet so diverse —, the churches and chapels or any old building that was on our way, despite every little lunch break being a welcome rest period, my pain was getting worse. Many times did Gabriel find himself so far ahead that he had to wait for me. I tried to hide it but he quickly noticed and when we arrived in Logonna he pretended to be exhausted and suggested we made a proper halt. Holidays during the holidays! We spent two whole days in the Logonna peninsula. A farmer gave us permission to sleep in his barn. And we did sleep, like babies, for the whole night and part of the day! We looked pitiful, for sure, since his wife invited us for supper. We had a big meal and when we left the following morning, early enough so that we did not get sunburned, we found fresh food near our bicycles: a loaf of bread, a huge slice of pâté packed in a handkerchief, and a bowl full of strawberries! There was a piece of paper under the bread that read: ‘You can keep the handkerchief but could you please eat all the strawberries before you go and leave the bowl here.’ I cannot tell you, Eujen, how deeply we were moved by such generosity. It also made us exceptionally invigorated.

“Afterwards, we went to Landerneau. What a lovely and dynamic city it is, with its inhabited bridge crossing the Elorn River! La Roche-Maurice is equally beautiful, with the ruin of its majestic fort on top of its own rock! And there were pointy rocks everywhere, and abundant forests and you could hear the lapping of the streams everywhere! Our journey ended in the village of Sizun, which we found quite dull despite its church and its majestic parish close. The following day, we hit the road to Saint-Rivoal. The path we had to follow was rough and hilly once again, but we benefited from the coolness brought by the abundant trees. From there, we went to the Mont-Saint-Michel-de-Brasparts. We planned to sleep in the shade of the little chapel’s walls, and after having sweat profusely pushing our bicycles by their handlebars — since pedaling on these rocky paths similar to those leading to Golgotha would have been a grueling effort —, we were rewarded from our efforts with a magnificent sunset. Quite a reward indeed… Of which we had never seen the like! Gabriel could not stop saying: ‘Dear Lord, how beautiful, how beautiful it is, that is incredible!’ And I obviously could not help but make fun of him: ‘Dear Lord, here we have Gabriel Gwiader, a staunch pagan, worshiping God!’ Afterwards, as it was customary after we had been laughing at each other — which happened a lot — a clumsy gouren match started on the sweet grass that surrounded the chapel. And then came endless laughter…”

Mich Beyer (1948, Douarnenez, France) is a teacher of Breton language and author of several novels and short stories written in Breton. She has taught in a variety of schools and even taught pedagogy to future teachers of the Breton language. She began publishing in 1991 with Ar Pennoù Koltar war an enez and has won the 2006 Prix France 3, the 2008 Prix Langleiz, the 2010 Prix Pêr Mokaer, and more. Planedenn paotr e bluenn (2022, The Destiny of the one Who Wrote) is her most recent novel.

Acknowledgments for Lesser-Known Languages

Acknowledgments for Lesser-Known Languages

The excerpts from Virgil’s Fountain / Fenten Feryl appear courtesy of Clive Boutle of Francis Boutle Publishers.

The poems from Pierobežas / Borderlands are excerpted courtesy of translator Jayde Will.

Photo of Ligija Purinaša by Raivis Nikolajevs.

Photo of Jayde Will by Inga Pizane.

Jeff Schinker’s Sabotage, translated by Alasdair Reinert, appears courtesy of the author.

Kim Simonsen’s poems, translated by Randi Ward, appear courtesy of the translator.

Photo of Kim Simonsen by Thomas Koba

Photo of Randi Ward by Perry Bennett.

The short story, “The Old Well Underneath the Old Walnut Tree” by Boris Sandler in translation by Jordan Kutzik, appears courtesy of the translator.

Mich Beyer’s Planedenn paotr e bluenn / The Destiny of the One Who Wrote in translation by Kuzul ar Brezhoneg appears courtesy of An Alarc’h.

Poems by Olena Duc-Fajfer translated by Elaine Rusinko and Bogdan Horbal appear courtesy of the author.

The excerpt of Máire Zepf’s verse novel Nóinin / Daisy appears courtesy of the author and publisher Cois Life Teoranta.

The excerpt from Euri zitalari esker / Thanks to the Acid Rain by Itxaro Borda in English translation by Clayton McKee appears courtesy of the author. A special thanks to Itxaro for translating the Basque into French.

Máret Ánne Sara’s Ilmmiid Gaskkas / In Between Worlds in English translation by Laura Janda is excerpted courtesy of DAT.

Photo by Máret Ánne Sara by Frank Lande.

Alija Krasnići’s poems translated by Teodora Avramovic appear courtesy of the author.

A special thanks to John Cox for his support in communicating with Alija Krasnići.

Thanks to Thomas Porte for sharing his amazing photography.

A very special thanks to TE intern Veronika Miskowiec and veteran editor Joe Williams for their support and work on this issue.

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