Jasmina Topić

Ne živesmo osim čitajući


Izgubila se u prostoru jedne knjige,
pratile me reči pesme na nepoznatom jeziku,
toplog mediteranskog melosa, kao zajednička
bivanja na ostrvima gde uvek treba obnoviti radost.

I dva prostora, oivičena senkama i muzikom,
potirala su me; U istu ravan dovodila
s linijom nepovučenom,
na dnu lista, izvan fusnote.

Tamo gde je pripadnost zamirala
izbijala je strast za napisanim, jednim
od mogućih svetova što so ih ispere
kao štamparsku grešku.

A prostor knjige menjao nam je oblik
lica, dodeljivao namenu. I bila sam. –
Zaistinski priljubljena za stihove, za slike
kao za nekadašnje rame,
sanjajući o severnim morima tako živahnim,
iz pisama prelomljenih u stihove.

Osluškivala kada će zlatne bubice hlebne
mileti mojom kožom, drhtureći. Boravila
pod polarnim svetlom, nadohvat drugosti
drugog, realnog života...

Ali ne živesmo osim čitajući, odmeravajući
ono pre i posle napisanog dok su tvoje oči,
male orahove ljuske na liniji imaginarnog,
Bile i more i nesanica.

Sada tako lagano klizim pored glečera čija imena,
a i namene ne prepoznajem.
I kao u dubokom, najdubljem snu ispod santi,
poneki glas me doziva iz svetla
u kojem se ne da više boraviti.
Ovog jutra, od jutra do mraka.


I got lost in the space of a book,
the words of a poem in an unknown language followed me,
warm Mediterranean ethnic music, like joint
stays on islands where joy is always to be renewed.

Two spaces edged by shadows and music
annulled me; they brought me down to the level
of a line not drawn,
at the bottom of a sheet, outside the footnote.

where belonging was dying out
the passion for writing emerged, for one
of the possible worlds washed out by salt
like a misprint.

And the space of the book changed our facial
form, gave us a purpose. And I was. –
Truly attached to verses, to pictures
the way I was to a shoulder of bygone times,
dreaming of northern seas so lively,
from those letters arranged into verses.

I listened, waiting for gold bugs
to start milling across my skin, trembling. I resided
under polar light, within arm’s reach of the otherness
of another, real life...

But we never lived except when reading, sizing up
that which preceded and followed the writing while your eyes,
tiny nutshells on the line of the imaginary,
were both the sea and insomnia.

Now I slide slowly by the glacier whose names
and purpose I do not recognise.
And as if in a deep, deepest dream under ice floes,
occasional voices call out to me from the light
in which it is no longer possible to reside.
This morning, from dawn till dusk.

Translation from Sebian into English
by Novica Petrović

About Jasmina Topić

Jasmina Topić is a Serbian authoress mainly focused on writing poetry, but she is also established as an occasional short prose and essay writer; literary reviewer; editor/editor in chief of two significant projects. She started a contemporary poetry edition called "Najbolja" ("The Best") in 2012 and is in-charged in (co)editing as well as book design. She cooperates with the Youth Center in Pančevo as editor-in-chief of the publication "Rukopisi" ("Manuscripts") since 1998 - a collection of young poets and short-prose writers from former Yugoslavia, published annually. Jasmina Topić has seven sole-authored poetry books and several stories printed in journals and specialized thematic books (listed below). Furthermore, she has been continually publishing articles, columns and essays for journals (paper and online) throughout the ex-YU region. Her poetry is often presented in a multimedia context and she managed to present it through video-works in a DVD called "The quiet renewal of the summer" (2008) and also with audio CD "Languages of Poetry", in several languages - prepared for the final exhibition of the AIR program in Graz, Austria (2014) (available on Soundcloud).
Jasmina Topić had the opportunity to be called on a few Artist in residence programs: the "Milo Dor" stipend from KulturKontakt (Vienna, Austria, 2008), Kamov residency (Rijeka, Croatia, 2012), "Tirana in between" (Traduki program, Tirana, Albania, 2013), RONDO residency (Graz, Austria, 2014) and Create in residence (Baltic centre for writers and translators, Visby, Sweden, 2014). At the end of 2019. she was a resident in Krems, Austria, as a part of the writer's exchange project between Austria and Serbia.

Profile image: Jasmina Topić