Aleksandar Ristovic

Aleksandar Ristovic (1933-94) was the author of more than twenty books of poetry as well as a book of criticism. He lived in Belgrade, where he received several major prizes for his work.

Two Poems

Aleksandar Ristovic, translated by Charles Simic, 13 May 1999


We never even felt our share of the eternal in what was our life: the moments from which these bursts of activity and lethargy are made up, the similarity between here and there in inner and outer space. We exchanged life for its semblance, the object for its shadow, the visible coin for the invisible riches whose origins are unknown and whose value is ambiguous: the body for a wee...

Poem: ‘Time and Unacceptable Human Destiny’

Aleksandar Ristovic, 7 January 1999

I see small coaches passing between the trees. I try to catch them with one hand, but they continually slip away to the sound of young women giggling from the pleasure they take in riding about.

Partridges fly out of the grass, but it’s some other century, some other grass, and the partridges are not always partridges, but some other bird, and at times they are even animals.

I see the...

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