Translator’s Note on Alisa Velaj’s Work:
Alisa Velaj is a prolific Albanian writer and poet who received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tirana, College of History and Literature. An accomplished teacher of Albanian, Velaj has received a Master of Arts degree in literature from the University of Tirana. Her graduate thesis was entitled “The Catharsis in Mitrush Kuteli’s Prose” (Discussions on the Intertextual content of Kuteli’s prose). Alisa Velaj is a Ph.D. candidate of Albanian literature at the “Blanzhe Koneski” University in Skopie, Republic of Macedonia. She is fluent in English and Italian.
Velaj has published two volumes of Poetry: Foundations of Wind (Ideart Press, 2006), and Around the Flames (2011). She has also written a foreword to Godot is not Coming, 2010, a poetry volume by Ndue Ukaj, translated in English and Spanish by Peter Tase and published in the United States by Lulu Enterprises. Alisa Velaj regularly participates in regional conferences on comparative literature, and Albanian language and professional writing seminars. Her verses of “A tale of pilgrims” is published in the October, 2012 issue of Enhance in the United States, translated by Peter Tase. Velaj’s poems are translated in Portuguese by Fernando Dias Antunes and printed in his magazine which is published in Lisbon, Portugal.
Peter Tase (translator) received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Italian Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, United States (2006) and is a graduate of Marquette University, Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington, D.C. (2006). Tase has translated more than ten fiction and poetry volumes by Albanian writers, from Albanian to English and Spanish. Tase is the author of Simultaneous Dictionary in Five Languages (2010), and editor of El Idioma y Cultura Guarani en Paraguay (2011), a volume of essays and research articles written by David Galeano Olivera, president of Ateneo de Lengua y Cultura Guarani, Paraguay. For more information see, www.petertase.com
I ate Manna
at Zacharia’s home.
and two grilled fish.
Later was upset with my mother
who would never cook tasty food
just like grandma Rachel.
Many years went by,
but myself, a kid,
still cherish that sweet flavor
every time I see fish,
as they’re fed with coins from worshipers,
there, at the river near a synagogue…
Vogëlushëve hebrenj të fëmijërisë time
Une hëngra mana
në shtëpinë e Zakarias.
Mana të ëmbla
dhe dy peshq të pjekur zgare.
Pastaj u zemërova me nënën time
që s’gatuante kurrë ushqime
si të gjyshe Rakelës.
Kaluan shumë vjet,
ruaj ende atë shije të ëmbël
sa herë shoh peshqit,
tek ushqehen me lëmosha besimtarësh.
atje, në lumin pranë një faltoreje…