Wednesday, December 1, 2021



The Double Translation


Poets from all over the world are contributing generously with their poetical creations to the OPA monthly issues as well as to the yearly anthology publications. We are extremely thankful to them as well as to our readers since the viewership of OPA is increasing constantly. Our endeavour is to form a platform of poetic excellence and exchange for people from various nations, cultures, ethnic groups, religions and, above all, from a multitude of language communities. This is only possible due to the consensus of using one language accessible to the broad readership, the 'good old' English. Whereas there are many international poets with a very good command of English, who either write poetry in this language or translate their own poems into it, others need a skilled translator for an ideally optimal transposition of their verse into English. But then, what makes a good translator? Thousands of poets, scholars, scientists and more have attempted to answer this question, yet there is no generally accepted definition of the ideal translator, their work being too many-faceted and complex for standard explanations. This notwithstanding, there are quite a few general agreements on the requirements a good translator must fulfil in order to be able to cope with all the difficulties inherent in the translation work.

In this respect, a main aspect and challenge is the incongruence of languages due to the so called 'linguistic relativity'. Supporters of linguistic relativity claim that each language community structures the flux of the surrounding reality into verbal patterns which are, to a greater or lesser degree, different from those of other languages. Concrete as well as abstract terms are affected by this sort of stronger or weaker incompatibilty. Wilhelm von Humboldt, as one of the first to theorise these aspects of language, maintained as early as 1816: “It has repeatedly been observed and verified by both experience and research that no word in one language is completely equivalent to a word in another /.../.” [i]

This idea has permeated scholars' reasoning irrespective of age, geographical provenance, or trend of thinking, and it is remarkable how very similar formulations have been in the course of history. More than 100 years later, the Spanish philosopher, essayist and critic José Ortega y Gasset wrote: “Therefore, it is utopian to believe that two words belonging to different languages, and which the dictionary gives us as translations of each other, refer to exactly the same objects.” [ii]

This being said, the question arises inevitably if translation is possible at all or rather a utopian act. Here, too, various degrees of optimism (or pessimism!) have been expressed by writers and scholars. Roman Jakobson, for instance, known for his often-cited distinction between three levels of translation of verbal signs: intralingual, interlingual and semiotic, chose to use the term 'interpretation',  and accounted for it by mentioning that translation can be nothing else than a recreation of the literary work– the more truly so when poetry is involved: “/…/ poetry by definition is untranslatable. Only creative transposition is possible /.../”. [iii]

The particular position of poetry in the process of translation has been repeatedly emphasised by both practitioners and theoreticians of lyricism. A wide consensus seems to have been attained as to the fact that every poetry translation is a secondary type of transposition, or, in other words, the translation of a translation, since poems themselves are the result of processing or transmitting ordinary everyday language into sublimated poetic expression.

A further requirement on translators has always been to preserve the creative stylistic power of the original without trying to  to 'decipher' the poetic work, and to maintain its multiplicity of meanings in that they achieve effects analogous to those of the original.  A translated poem should have the quality of leaving the same impact on readers of the target language, as the original does on readers of the source language. The Mexican writer, poet and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Octavio Paz maintains that translation is: “/.../ less a copy than a transmutation. The ideal of poetic translation, as Valéry once superbly defined it, consists of producing analogous effects with different implements.” [iv]

Therefore, a major point of the translation assignment is the dynamic character of the transmission of a poetic message. My own confrontation with poetry, as a scholar, poet and translator, has continually confirmed that a poem is not a dead, rigid product, but a live entity, with a spirit of its own. It is, in my opinion, this feature that makes not only poetry, but all valuable works of art perennial and enjoyable for each new generation. And it is the translators' task to find their way to this inner life slumbering in complex literary structures.

No doubt, a main demand on a competent translator is to have very good command of both the target and the source language, i.e. the poet's language. This includes not only a full understanding of the author's native tongue, but also deep acquaintance with his or her peculiar way of handling words, that which distinguishes them from all the other speakers of the same language.

Opinions about the requirements on a good translator are, without doubt, diverse, but I believe that one of the main aspects of this debate refers to the translator being, like every reader, an individual receptor of the work of art. That means that, on the one hand, they themselves cannot claim ultimate comprehension of a literary work, and, on the other hand, neither readers nor critics can expect any final or universal translation from them. It is precisely the potential of every piece of literature to be interpreted and, accordingly, translated in more than one way, that makes this work vital and durable.

A frequent assertion is that poetry translators are not supposed to translate the words of the poem, but should attempt to transfer its content or, more specifically, the poet's intentions. Unfortunately, no devices have been invented so far that could provide readers or translators with such clairvoyant abilities, but what both readers and translators can experience is the effect, the impact that the poem or other literary works leave upon them. In my opinion, fidelity to the original ought to be understood as the translator's endeavour to endow the new text with the same pungency and operative potential that the original has. In this enterprise, the translator remains a subjective agent, however hard he or she may pursue objectivity. They are inevitably marked by their sensitivity, artistic formation, and own perception of the surrounding world.

The content of this editorial only touches upon a few basic facts about translation. A lot more needs to be taken into consideration when talking about this topic. But then, there are a lot more editorials to come, so just stay tuned and follow the amazing poetic endeavour of the OPA contributors in original and / or in translation.


i)                  Humboldt, Wilhelm von, 1992, “From the Introduction to His Translation of Agamemnon”, transl. by Sharon Sloan, in Biguenet, John and  Schulter, Rainer (Eds.) , Theories of Translation: An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to Derrida. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, pp. 55-59.

ii)               Ortega y Gasset, José, 1992, “The Misery and the Splendor of Translation”, transl. by Elisabeth Gamble Miller, in Biguenet, John and  Schulter, Rainer (Eds.), Theories of Translation: An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to Derrida. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, pp. 93-112

iii)            Jakobson, Roman, 1992, “On Linguistic Aspects of Translation”, in Biguenet, John and Schulter, Rainer (Eds.), Theories of Translation: An Anthology of Essays from Dryden         to Derrida. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, pp. 144-151.

iv)             Paz, Octavio, 1992, “Translation: Literature and Letters”, transl. by Irene del Corral, in Biguenet, John and  Schulter, Rainer (Eds.), Theories of Translation: An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to Derrida. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, pp. 152-162.


Dr. Aprilia Zank

From The Editorial Desk













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NILAVRONILL: Why do literature and poetry in particular interest you so much? Please give us some idea about your own perception of literature or poetry in general.


YINA ROJAS: I’ve always loved telling stories and literature is the main avenue to all the roads to do just that. Stories can come in books, blogs, mysteries or tales of joy, literature has opened the door today to share great stories through plays, cinematographic and musical interpretations. Poetry is like one those roads off Literature Avenue.  While you can have different styles to tell a story through poetry or any other form of literature, the reader’s connection and interpretation are what makes a great story.


NILAVRONILL: How do you relate your own self existence with your literary life in one hand, and the time around you, in the other.


YINA ROJAS: I think they exist together as a whole. Self-literary existence and time go together. I think as creators and writers, we may allow our time to dictate our literary existence. Accepting that existence and time are just parts of a whole, a whole you, the creator of this WHOLE existence.


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace?


YINA ROJAS: Creative souls tend to feel deeply. Being able to feel the feelings and allow them to guide you can help creative souls flourish. Moving through the feelings and mastering a task through either turmoil or peace can both be beneficial. Peace teaches us where we need to be balanced and turmoil teaches us what’s out of balance, out of place. Both part of light and darkness.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature have been largely extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general?


YINA ROJAS: Of course, the technology has truly expanded the audience reach and the extension that poetry and literature can go. I also feel like technology affects the way creators’ birth and promote new ideas, but at the same time, it makes finding your tribe, your niche and audience a lot faster because we are all connected thanks to the wonder of technology. 


NILAVRONILL: Now, in this changing scenario we would like to know from your own life experiences as a poet, writer and a creative soul: How do you respond to this present time?


YINA ROJAS: The last two years have given me time to reflect and work on myself. This has been a difficult time for the whole world, but allowing myself to feel, work and reflect on what we are all experiencing has helped me gain different perspectives on life, society, and overall self-preservation.


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? And is this an incentive for or an obstacle against becoming a truly international writer?


YINA ROJAS: We are all products of our upbringing, cultures, and societies we live in. We pick up traditions and beliefs from all our experiences, family, and friendships. Our DNA is a combination of all these and just like our cells regenerate, so can our beliefs and traditions. We are capable to evolve if we focus on being the best version of ourselves: not perfect, because we already are but the best we can be today.


NILAVRONILL: Now, if we try to understand the tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in it?  If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself to the tradition and to modernism?


YINA ROJAS: Throughout history, literature had the power to dictate what we feel and what we experience. Literature has given our imaginations the ability to fly without wings and to explore places we will never get to visit. Literature is a voice that once turned on, it cannot be shut down. Literature is a symbol of society’s freedom to express our desires and dreams and we all have dreams we want to fulfil.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think literary criticism has much to do with the development of a poet and the true understanding of his or her poetry?


YINA ROJAS: Literary criticism is an important part of a writer’s development. Our ideas and writings need to evolve as our audience and desires do. Understanding that each creation may have its imperfections and being able to accept and comprehend this from another’s perspective is critical for evolution in the creative mind. No creation is right or wrong, and it is also important to understand that someone’s opinion does not constitute the world. Sometimes creators judge themselves because we are attached to a perfectionism and we, just as our creations, are perfect as we are, exactly as we are.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think society as a whole is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether?


YINA ROJAS: Society has played a key role in my poetry because all I create has to do with my experiences, my feelings and simply the message I want to convey.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think people in general actually bother about literature?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?


YINA ROJAS: I would say that some people are not really bothered by buying a piece of art or a book, but there are so many souls out there that cherish those with pride and joy. We create for those souls, we create to share our message and hope those meant to listen, do.


NILAVRONILL: We would like to know the factors and the peoples who have influenced you immensely in the growing phase of your literary life.


YINA ROJAS: Wow! I have so many, and I am afraid that I will start typing and leave names out. Two people that have influenced me are LaShonda Henderson and Makena Mutua. There are so many more, but these souls have touched me not only by their poetry, but their kindness and big hearts. I am so lucky to not only have them, but so many others that I can say spark inspiration into being a better version of me every day.


NILAVRONILL: How would you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations for or expectation from the younger generation?


YINA ROJAS: As an evaluation, I can say that creators have made a way for themselves; even throughout the pandemic. Creative souls are finding more ways to connect with the world, and I can only imagine that the younger generations will follow this example and expand into more imaginative ways to experience literature. 


NILAVRONILL: Humanity has suffered immensely in the past and is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our future?


YINA ROJAS: Suffering is like a storm; these will all pass. All we are experiencing is temporary and it will pass eventually. Hope and faith are the last things to ever lose.


NILAVRONILL: What role can literature in general play to bring a better day for every human being?


YINA ROJAS: Creatives are brightening everyone’s days and nights as we read this. I can only imagine how many other creative ways we will continue to infuse more love, hope, faith, and kindness into our world.


YINA ROJAS: Life and love enthusiastic, Yina, owner of Threaded by Rojas (on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok) writes out life experiences ranging from traditional and free verse poetry, affirmations, as well as short stories to connect her audience to messages from life lessons. Her purpose is for the messages to find whoever is supposed to hear them and to remind us to ‘Remember if we are what we give, why not give love’. 







You don't know peace

Until she discovers she

descends from gods

And her body, the container

Of all that's eternally whole.

That ultimate peace that

fills her with light.

When she knows her peace,

it becomes her ultimate power.



Power Clues


When they saw you as bad,

you were good.

Where they saw your lacking,

you reached abundance.

In the midst of their chaos,

you found peace.

Where hate once stood,

now there's love.

And yet you still looking

for clues of your power?





No one said they were sorry

for the things that happened to me,

They guilted me for how I reacted.

I pushed it all down,

with a gulp of water,

with years of tears,

but even the ocean caves in

and allows the storm to pass.

It waits for the tide to settle

with grace and patience.

I bite my salty lips,

get up and keep going,

waiting for the chaos to settle,

hoping for patience and grace

to liberate me.


You Are


You are the love,

The hate,

The sickness,

The antidote,

The problem and the solution.

It's always been with you.

You always had it all.

Why would I send you into the darkness without


You are the light.

You always were.


Choosing Love


What's if we decide to

love like we don't know

how to hate?

The world will be a total

different place.




YINA ROJAS: Life and love enthusiastic, Yina, owner of Threaded by Rojas (on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok) uses life experiences to share with the world through her writings. Her writings are anywhere from traditional poetry to free verses with a punch, right where you need it. She has been writing for as long as she remembers and continues to do so because ‘when you appreciate what life has to offer every day, one can find inspiration in the small things.’






On The Eve Of Eid Night


They say that night

has some strange power ...

I look at the sky

stars ride

and I see a crescent

I thought he would fulfill my wishes three ..

let my darling come

all bad to pass

and may my mother be well ...

On the eve of Eid night ..

Blue and round rolls are taken out

on various pies

the courtyards will smell ..

Let the kadaifi smell for you

and baklava and let it be healthy

and merry Eid days of glory

On the eve of Eid night

usually a loved one dreams

Nena Meka sabah slaughter ..

Study the fatiha quietly,

for the soul of heavenly silence ..

And put it all in one RAM ..

Happy Eid people to you

With the first ray of sunshine with Sabah call to prayer,

Eid is coming, promised by the Qur’an.

On the wings of the call to prayer

may Eid bring us happiness every day

Put on a new suit

until the bell rings at the gate ..

Until the neighbor says sellam

here we are waiting for Eid

And when Eid is over

I have to do one more thing

go to your grandmother's grave ..

learn prayer

for a new job ...



I'll Always Be There, Baby


I will wait for you ..

Don't worry and be afraid about it

At one point in your life you are left

just to count the scars ...

I give myself and all my love to you ..

I have always wondered how I succeed so strongly

to hug someone who hasn't been here in a long time.

I don't allow myself to despair

You are my world

Which fits in a hug ..

I'm getting old slowly,

Death is coming soon ..

no matter what

you are always what my day starts with ..

And you, honey, when it's hard

And when you tighten the sadness in your heart

Mine I love you will be first

What will you think before you go to bed ..

I sometimes forget I'm alive,

so I get scared when I think about it.

But I love you in your sixties.

Wherever you live,

At all those weird addresses ..

Remember the value of all my songs ..



The Man Is Tired


One can be calmed and illuminated by the very assumption that there is someone, famous and pleasant, who follows and loves him, that someone, that person, it is possible and real as a neon shadow .... it hit me like birds hit autumn ... because I know that she wants and loves me as much as I love her .... Believe me, it's hard to write the most beautiful love Zoka loved.he loves .and loves his Senada loved every day..sighed and waited for her Zoran .. And that her beloved Zoka, Senada's both her beloved Zoka sends her kisses from the West and the East..and while Zoka lives so dead..he curses this gray life without her..When will she come and calm him down to make her touch come true..And today it all hurts them..the truth..she is lost there far away ,, who knows how to look into the human heart..they will feel those vibrations of the soul..they will feel that beauty that the human eye cannot see ... he will never be ashamed of such love ... not everyone sees and hears..not everyone feels that magic.A man as he learns to fly often falls..and in the end he did not learn to fly but learned how should fall ... he learned in life to hope..Because we know where we are while the sky is burning with colors..while we know the depth of feeling in the raindrops .. that flows down our cheeks and body ... and we love each other even stronger even bolder..and as long as you know that there is a hand waiting for our sleeping story to come to life and for reality to become dreams ,, my thoughts start..I love the woman in you who knows how to steal my dreams who can put a smile on my face. .Thank you for the wonderful awakening in the scent of Lilac..The pain when he breaks the most beautiful love he gives..for a moment he stops..the look falls down .. dreams get confused and disappear.because after all all the pain will stop ...



ZORAN RADOSAVLJEVIĆ was born in Trebinje on September 25, 1961. A child of a mixed marriage, from a Serb father and a Muslim mother. He wrote from an early age, he did not publish everything until recently. He was the editor of the newspaper Jedinstvo from Smed. publishes the first book "Footprints" which he dedicates to her. He publishes a collection of poems "Dreaming", and the novel "Stumbling about his own life" After some time he publishes a collection painting ", with the painter Nedjad Fazlinović. His last book is a poem dedicated to his great love Senada" Trebinje still smells like her ". with the poem "Trebinje still smells like her" ..





The Feeling Of Love


The feeling of love

It is the strongest feeling of all.

Love means affection, interest,

warm hugs, caresses, kisses.

Love is a real treasure.

Give love!

Save the world from loneliness!


Translated by Louis Xatzi



My Complaint


Ι want to fly beyond the sky,

beyond the horizon!

I want to fly like an eagle, like a bird,

like the wind to save my soul from isolation!!

I can't stand it anymore!

I want to live on a tree-house

in the mountains beside

a spring where the birds of the sky come and drink!!

I want to breath freely again, to find myself and to smile again!

Do l ask a lot?

Someone, please, let me know!


Translated by Louis Xatzi



You Are Heaven


You are heaven,

bright light of my soul,

an angel.

An adorable love,

heaven and earth together.






VASILIKI KARATASIOU: Vasiliki Karastasiou is a professor of Greek Literature and an inspired poetess too. She is also the general secretary of E.LO.SY.L and she lives in the town of Larissa. She has published several books of poetry, three of them are translated in French. She has been awarded with a gold and a silver medal by the International Academy of Letters and Arts of Lutece. She has also won several prizes in many other competitions of poetry in Greece and in other foreign countries. She loves poetry very much and she helps many other writers to publish their books.






In Your Light






There is nothing to regret.


Our separation brings

promises of reuniting.


Without your presence

I’m content with desire.


Does satisfaction ever

equal a good expectation?





Our reunion always brings pleasure.


And yet sometimes

we are together for years


without noticing it.


The multiplicity of life

is too much for one mind,


the moments need peace

to be lit

in our eyes


for fires to flame

in our soul.




The heart beats

sky steep

in my chest.


Your sun

is constantly

at its peak

through mid-winter days.


It even shines

high above

when night falls.





And love

in all this wreck?


I write the names

on a piece of paper


and slip it

to you


with pierced heart.





Love doesn’t



It flows heavy



digs a deep bed,

leaps in a high waterfall.


Who would want to keep swimming

in calm waters?




In your light I set eyes

on the colours of my love

though never possessing

all that’s wonderful there.


Your name alone will do

for the feeding of my ear.

Its music is purer

than all the drums I hear.


Your aura is of

wonderful warmth.

But how can I achieve

a part in your karma?





Soul’s touch

and the body is forgotten

because it is.


Anguish oscillates

between the stars

and flushes in the firmament.


Beauty appears

in your eyes.

Where I live.





In this sunny summer

fidelity has

bright wings

and wind beneath them.


And we fly

with joyous hearts


in separate directions.





God is three in one.


Love is two in one.


Man is one.






teaches us

to live.



teaches us

to love.






THÓR STEFÁNSSON (born in Reykjavik in 1949) is an Icelandic poet and translator, author of 17 original poetry books and 16 translations, several of which are anthologies of poets from French-speaking countries. He has also translated Icelandic poetry into French. Furthermore, Thór is a director/author of French/Icelandic dictionaries. Thór is the Icelandic translator of ITHACA Poem of the week.