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Written by Risto Vasilevski

Translated from the Serbian by Zoran Ančevski

Narrated by Bill Wolak 



Turned into meaning,

it pushes through the membranes of vigil,

it wakes me in every pore,

it offers me form and wholeness,

it asks for life.


I respond to it

as if offering a hand to a child,

as if reaching for a drop of rain

falling in a desert

and if I am not quick enough,

the sand will absorb it.


I understand its desire,

I understand its idea,

and why it has chosen me

to build it in the tower

whose top is nowhere to be seen;

it counts not on me,

but on the outcome at the end of time.


I write it down

with all its traps,

with all its blanks that speak,

with all its silent words

that let the other be heard,

with its signs that reveal both of us.


I leave it before me,

I hold it by its shadow,

so we both survive,

and hope for a long life.



Risto Vasilevski (1943, Nakolec, Macedonia)  is an academician, poet, essayist, literary critic, writer for children, anthologist, translator, publisher, who writes in the Macedonian and Serbian languages. To date, he has translated into the those languages: 36 books of poetry, two books of poetry for children, two novels in verse for children, and 28 books of selected poetry. His own works have been translated into 26 foreign languages.  He has translated from Macedonian into Serbian and vice versa, edited and published more than 80 books of selected poetry and prose works by other writers. In addition, he has translated and published more than 190 poetry, prose, drama and essayistic works from Albanian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish, Slovene and Ukraine into Serbian and Macedonian.  Vasilevski has edited and published 10 poetry anthologies, among which the three volume anthology „Lasting Legacy”, encompassing poetry by 18 national minorities and ethnic communities in Serbia, which was declared the publishing project of the year at the Belgrade International Book Fair. He is the recepient of around 50 major national and international awards, including: the Worlds Golden Writer; the Golden key to Smederevo International Poetry Festival Smederevo Poetry Autumn (Serbia); the Little Nobel Prize, „Андреј Бел”, Crystal Feather (Russia) „Francesco Petrarca (Italia); the Poeta Laureautus,  „Braća Miladinovci” Award of the Struga Poetry Evenings, and many others. Risto Vasislevski is a member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Slavic Academy of Literature and Arts (Varna, Bulgaria), International Academies “Mihai Eminescu”, The Ukrainian Academy of Literature and Arts and the Russian Academy of Literature;  the International Writers Association  (Riga, Latvia), the Association of Writers of Macedonia, the Association of Writers of Serbia and the Association of Literary Translators of Serbia. He is founder of the International Poetry Festival „The Smederevo Poetry Autumn”. He edited several newspapers and magazines, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Videlo journal, a member of the editorial boards of the magazine Mons Aureus and Literary Newspaper. He is Manager of the Publishing House „Arka” from Smederevo, with its publishing office in Skopje.

Zoran Ančevski and Sergej Macura are two of  Risto Vasilevski’s many English translators.



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