Monday, March 03, 2008

A "Song of Defiance" by Dobrica Eric

The following is an English translation of the poem, A Song of Defiance", written by Serbian poet, Dobrica Eric in the 1990's.

A Song of Defiance

English Translation

I
the servant of God,
the Serb,
announce willingly
through chains and wires
before the witnesses
Power, Agony and Injustice,
that I am guilty and admit my crime!
I am guilty that I am a somebody
and not a nothing and a nobody.
I am guilty that in a time of general
Serb-hating
I go to an Orthodox Christian church
and make the sign of the cross like this,
with three fingers!
I am guilty of being,
when I ought not to be.
I have been guilty for a long time now
of standing upright
and gazing upon Heaven, instead of the grass.
I am guilty of having stood up to injustice.
I am guilty,
of once again honoring my patron saint.
I am guilty of reading and writing Cyrillic.
I am guilty of singing, of laughing, and
I am guilty, this I admit,
of knowing what I do know,
and knowing what I do not know.
I am guilty, to end with my greatest crime.
I am guilty of being stubborn
and of being an Orthodox Christian
and a follower of Saint Sava and of not believing
in such things as "a holy crime".
I am guilty
then
of existing,
and while already being and rudely standing,
of not admitting that I do not exist.

If I admit that I do not exist
in order to save my head,
I will lose the venerable Cross and my patron saint.
If I do not admit that,
my outlook is bleak,
then the entire world will harass my nation.
Hoards of former people
thieves and vagrants,
packs of robots and other monsters,
will attack my orchards and fields
and my white house along the road
around which, as the loveliest of maidens,
blossom cherries, apples, and plums.

So here,
I admit this too,
for the salvation of my people.
I no longer exist.
Remove me from your list.
I am from now on only
air, light and water,
three useful elements.
And this thing that before you walks and talks,
that is what you have made of me!

My enemy with a thousand hands,
a thousand servants and false handmaidens,
you have plucked my sun as you would an apple
and my joy as you would a poppy among the rye.

My descendents shall drink despair and bitterness.
But yours already drink bitter honey-wine
for the blood money which fills your money belt
from the sale of my ancestral land.
Fate will give you a straight jacket,
and then there will come daylight,
or the planet will burst from shame ,
and bury us all in the abyss!

You must be very important,
you, my dear Land,
and your sisters
Truth and Justice,
since so many powers have arisen against you,
and Untruth and Injustice
stand before you with jaws agape.

Hoards of former people,
thieves and vagrants,
packs of robots and other monsters,
already surround your orchards and fields
and my white house along the road
around which, as the loveliest of maidens,
blossom lindens, apples, and plums.

What do these warriors of jihad,
and of crusade, these farmers
that torture your sons and daughters
seek?
These worldly bands must have heard
that we have golden hearts,
so they are removing them
to transplant them into their own torsos
in hopes that they, too, will become people.

My respected prosecutors,
my judges and executioners,
you have written out your commandments for me
all over your pupils,
of the finest of glass.
The harder it is for me to live,
the easier it will be for me to die.
You have gone too deep into a late dark night,
but you will lynch in vain the most hospitable nation on the planet,
because human hearts,
miracle of miracles,
cannot be transplanted into your inhuman torsos!

We do not fear death,
or the darkness,
but rather we fear a slave's life and lengthy illness.
Death is a frequent occurrence among the Serbs
just like spring, summer, autumn and winter,
and it is no worse,
especially by day,
than drought, floods, earthquakes, and frost,
when a man meets these on his own land
with censed soul and clear conscience.

You who wish us harm,
satiated and mad,
you have forbidden me all in my own home,
but nobody can forbid me
to sing and to laugh while dying,
two things you no longer do
even while celebrating a marriage
or birth of your kind.

Spare me the stake and rope,
and crucify me on a mountain top
just as your forbearer crucified my forbearer,
Jesus Christ the Nazarene.

I shall watch,
but you shall close your eyes,
otherwise they will burst
from the glow of my face.
Just hurry -
because the sooner you crucify me
the sooner I will resurrect.

You can also read the poem and hear it recited by Ivana Zigon in the Serbian language on The Holy Theotokos church website. The video also shows the damage and destruction done both by the Albanians to Kosovo's ancient churchs and the 1999 NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia, along with some songs performed by Ivana Zigon.

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