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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 50 | volume IX | September-October, 2006



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 50September-October, 2006

Eyes wide open: smiling with a tear in the eye

– afterword to “House of Language” („Куќа од јазик“, Blesok, 2006) –

p. 1
Igor Isakovski

    After reading the poems of the latest four books of poetry of Josip Osti, I want you to imagine him as I do when I can’t see him: a poet of the world who lives both as a hermit and a bon vivant. An author who is ready to write until the last drop of ink and who would never stop if he thinks that there is something left unsaid. A reveler who appreciates every drop of wine, especially if it is Teran, the wine of his new fatherland. A homeless poet whose only brothers are the poets and who carries his home with him, even if it is only the key of his former home. A displaced poet who made a new house for himself in the native village of one of his dearest brothers, Srečko Kosovel. A poet with a yearning for light who did not even think of being silent while his native Sarajevo was shelled and its libraries burnt. Josip fought the savageries in Sarajevo even when he was not there. He responded to the fire of villains with the strong fire of his poetic word, without any compromises and pardon. He built himself a new house of language with the same energy, a house that does not make his home in Tomaj only, in Kras only, but everywhere where he is translated and everywhere where his verses are yet to be translated.
    After I had translated and published “Barbara and the Barbarian” („Барбара и варварот“), it was somehow logical that this poetry selection of Josip Osti in Macedonian also appears. The title “House of Language” („Куќа од јазик“) came quite naturally, although I was also considering several others. Still, the awarness of the loss of home and past that stayed in that home, on one hand, and the building of a house “of unarticulated voices”, which is (will be) “a church and a brothel at the same time” (>>53*), with a courage that borders madness (and which courage is wise?) and with an acceptance of the great (which is the biggest display of wisdom), on the other hand, made Josip what he is. And, consequently, his poetry – as it is. “I am neither a saint nor a sinner” he says in one his poems, and he is right. But not completely. This poet is both a saint and a sinner: he merges with nature in

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