The Galway Review mourns the loss of its friend and contributor Ragip Sylaj.  The Creator creates, then takes away.  Ragip’s  creative work has insight peppered with pathos as it is illustrated in his poem, “Death of the poet” published by The Galway Review.  Many writers and poets will identify with its thrust. We salute you Ragip and pray for solace and support for your friends, family, fellow writers left to mourn your loss.

Editors of  The Galway Review

Ragip Sylaj lived in Kosovo. He graduated from the University of Pristina. He started writing and publishing since the late 70s. He worked as a teacher, and then as a journalist and editor in the student newspaper “Bota e re” (New World), as well as the daily newspapers “Bota Sot’ (World Today) and “Zëri” (Voice), based in Pristine. He worked as Senior Officer at the Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo. He has published seven poetry collections, five short story books and two books of essays and literary reviews.

Death of the poet

What about the poet criss-crossing the country
seeking a sponsor for his new book,
absorbing himself like a cigarette
inside emptiness and outside solitude?

One day he will seek a sponsor for longing,
a sponsor for his passion and renewal,
and will find only a sponsor for suffering,
for the art kills the poet himself.

Don’t become sponsors of the crazy poet,
of the poet drunk on the human grief.
Let him realise that in crisis situations
he gets prepared for a cruel decease.

The sainted oak tree watered with tears,
rooted in the dream and branched in hope,
his magic is the magic of Dodona.[1] 
Is it futurity or only memory?

After the poet’s death the book is published.
It finally overcomes its humiliation,
not reconciling with its epoch,
awaiting its revival and solidification.

© Ragip Sylaj

Translated by Kujtim Morina

[1] The oldest Hellenic oracle possibly dating to the second millennium BCE according to Herodotus situated in Ioannina region, northern Greece, being considered as a temple of ancient Albania as well.