Vladimir Martinovski, Republic of North Macedonia


Vladimir Martinovski, Republic of North Macedonia

The Poems


Inspired by a black
and white photograph
from the Museum of
Photography in Paris

The Father
is missing

He probably never
liked to have his picture taken
(or maybe he’s hiding
behind the camera)

The Mother
is also missing

She probably got tired
of posing without her husband
(or maybe she’s in the kitchen
or in front of a mirror)

The children
are also missing

The son could be in the army
or lives with his in-laws,
the daughter could be
living somewhere overseas

The grandfather
is also missing

(He has, probably, long ago
departed from this world)

that’s why the grandmother
holds the old
family portrait
just like mothers
hold their baby
or kids hold
their doll

(Translation from Macedonian
by Milan Damjanoski)



Според една црно-бела
од Музејот на
во Париз

Таткото го нема

Веројатно не сака
никогаш да го сликаат
(а можеби е засолнет
зад фотоапаратот)

Ни мајката ја нема

Веројатно ѝ здодеало
да се слика без сопругот
(а можеби е во кујната
или пред огледалото)

Ни децата ги нема

Веројатно синот е
во војска или е домазет
а можеби ќерката е
замината јабана

Ни дедото го нема

(Веројатно веќе одамна
заминал од овој свет)

Можеби затоа бабата
го држи стариот семеен портрет
како што мајките држат бебе
или децата кукла

* * *


like pumpkins
about to burst
the two suitcases
stand in the middle
of the lobby

No room
for so many
pieces of clothes
books and

(We put them back
in the closets
on the shelves)

All of them
in an instance
are infused
with a silent
emotion: perhaps

that very sorrow felt
by all those for whom
there was no room
in Noah’s big suitcase

(Translation from Macedonian
by Milan Damjanoski)



Подуени како тикви
пред пукањедвата куфера
чекаат среде ходникот

За многу алишта
книги и дреболии
немаше место

(Ги враќаме
во плакарите
по витрините)

Во сите нив како за миг
да се всели некое немо
неискажливо чувство:

можеби тагата на сите оние
за кои немало место
во големиот куфер на Ное


The Poet

Vladimir Martinovski (b. 1974) is a poet, short story writer, essayist, literary critic, translator, musician. He teaches General and Comparative Literature at Sts Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje. He completed his PhD at University Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle at 2007. He is member of the Executive Board of the International Association for Semiotic Studies. He is a member of the International Comparative Literature Association and Executive Board member of the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies. He is member of the board of the Struga Poetry Evenings Festival and member of the European network for poetry Versopolis. He has won a number of literary awards: Brother’s Miladinovci Award; Dimitar Mitrev Award for literary criticism, The Orpheus Lyre, Ante’s Golden coin. His poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages.