So quiet and desolate
there the forest stands,
like a disarmed soldier stares
beyond, with empty hands.
No longer does it roar nor shrink
beneath the distant sun –
as in a waking dream of kings
beneath the mountain, Krn.
Alas, by wind, by water
all my joy has fled…
as barren as nature’s evening mist
by twilight silence fed.
As there within the wayside inn
shielded from the world’s sight
the solitary traveller
awaits the coming night.
– Josip Murn Aleksandrov
I found this poem…
…on a woodcarving the last time we climbed Slavnik. I took a photo so I could attempt to translate the poem at home. I also looked up the poet, and discovered that Josip Murn, who adopted the pseudonym ‘Aleksandrov,’ was one of the pioneers of modernism in Slovenian literature. You can read more about him here.
In translating the poem, I did not translate literally but as this would have been impossible to do while maintaining the metre and rhyme scheme of the original. I used all of Aleksandrov’s images and tried to maintain the style and sense of the original poem.
If you liked this, you may also like these translations of Slovene poetry.