Poetry: Irma Kurti


IRMA KURTI
is an Albanian poetess, writer, lyricist, journalist, and translator. She is a naturalized Italian citizen who has been writing since she was a child. All her books are dedicated to the memory of her beloved parents Hasan Kurti and Sherife Mezini, who supported and encouraged her on every step of her literary path.

Kurti has won numerous literary prizes and awards in Italy and Italian Switzerland. She was awarded the “Universum Donna” International Prize IX Edition 2013 for Literature and a lifetime nomination as an “Ambassador of Peace” by the University of Peace of Italian Switzerland. In 2020, she received the title of Honorary President of WikiPoesia, the Encyclopedia of Poetry. In 2021, she was awarded the title “Liria” (Freedom) by the Arbëreshë Community in Italy. She was awarded the “Leonardo da Vinci” and “Giacomo Leopardi” prizes by the “Chimera Arte Contemporanea” Cultural Association of Lecce. 
In 2022, she was awarded the title of Mother Foundress and Lady of the Order of Dante Alighieri of the Republic of Poets. She is a jury member of several literary contests in Italy and a translator at the Ithaca Foundation in Spain.

Irma Kurti has published 26 books in Albanian, 19 in Italian, 10 in English, and two in French. She has written about 150 lyrics for adults and children. She is also the translator of 13 books by different authors and of all her own books in Italian and English. Outside of Albania, her books have been published in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Romania, Turkey, Kosovo, the Philippines, Cameroon, and India. She lives in Bergamo, Italy.
***


Under the ruins

I don’t remember how many cold days 
this winter month has had, if it has been
snowing a lot, if the cars were stuck on
a patch of ice, if the happy children built 
a snowman, if they were happier than ever. 

I don’t remember if roads were flooded
by heavy rain, if it then poured into the
river, if its drops hit the glass window, 
if a poet dedicated a poem to the sun, 
if passionate couples kissed under the 
angry sky, if steps vanished in the distance.

But I remember very well how many 
cloudy and rainy days I had myself,
how many limpid tears I have shed, 
how many others have frozen in my
eyelids, how many times I have tried 
to find myself under the ruins, so as
to breath, to stand up more determined again.
***


DISORIENTATED

Early morning.
My thoughts
wander,
disorientated,
without 
knowing yet 
what direction 
to take.

The sun road 
that radiates 
colors, light
full of magic
or the alley
of a gray cloud?

Early morning.
Only the echo
of my thoughts
is heard as they
crash with one
another and
rotate as in a 
game, trying 
to choose 
between sun 
and shade.
*** 


RED ROSES

The red roses have been cut
for they were wild, did not
disperse scent at all. There’s 
nothing left now, only a few 
branches that, like arms, seek 
help. The scattered buds on
the grass are wet with dew. 
The petals thrown here and 
there wait full of hope that 
someone will take and hold
them in the palm, smell them, 
give another, the last chance, 
in the end, wake them from 
the oblivion wherein they lie.
***


THESE ARE NOT LEAVES

These are not leaves that the autumn
throws on my hair, my shoulders; 
they are hands greeting me today
while I drag an old and heavy suitcase
that keeps the seasons we lived together.

These are not raindrops running down 
my cheeks, but tears: so limpid and clear.

These are not puddles reflecting now my 
face but rivers of thoughts and reflections.

Goodbyes always hurt; they leave you
bitter in the heart, even if, somewhere
out there, a world of magic colors waits…
***


I LOVED YOU

I loved you like one loves life:
with joy and cheerfulness,
but above all, with suffering,
nostalgia, and sleepless nights.

I looked for your portrait in every
rose petal, in every clear mirror of
water. I looked for your anger in 
a winter sea, for your voice in the 
deep silences, and for your smile
in a distant and colorful rainbow.

Now I'm left with the crumbled 
letters of your name between my
fingers, with a story, ours, which 
may or may not be over, with my
spirit cracked because of the long 
waits, with my slow steps from 
the fear of falling once again.

And I’m still waiting for you with  
hundreds of wrinkles scattered on
my skin, my gaze wet with tears, 
my soul full of light, as clear as a
dewdrop that will dream about
you up to the end of days, in love.
***

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