- North Macedonia -
Zvonko Taneski (born 12 March 1980, Skopje) is a Macedonian and Slovak poet, literary critic, university professor in Slovakia and translator. He studies General and Comparative literature and was graduated from the Faculty of Philology of Sv. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. In 2007 he defended his PhD. thesis on “Theory and history of Slovak literature” at the Department of Slovak Literature and Literary Science on Comenius University in Bratislava. He worked as an independent researcher at the Institute of World Literature in Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava (2007–2008). In 2011, the Commission for assessing scientific qualification of Slovak Academy of Science acknowledged his scientific qualification level IIa (senior researcher) and in the same year he received a habilitation at the Faculty of Foreign Languages FON University in Skopje, where he worked from 2011 to 2014. He worked at the Research Institute on Cultural Heritage of Constantine and Methodius in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra from 2007 to 2011 and at the same workplace acts as an assistant professor (2014–2015). From September 2015 he works as an associate professor in the Department of Slavic Philology in the Faculty of Arts at the Comenius University in Bratislava. Research activities: Comparative Slavonic studies and Balkan Linguistic and Literary studies.
Author of six books of poetry: “Opened doors” (1995, Kuboa), “The Choir of Rotten Leaves” (2000, Matica Makedonska), “The Ridge” (2003, Magor), „Chocolate in portfolio” (2010, Blesok), “Necking without warranty card” (2012, Kočo Racin) and “Waiting history” (2016, Antolog). His poems has been translated into numerous languages and published in the national literary periodicals, as well as in the foreign ones.
ZVONKO TANESKI, ASSOC. PROF. DR. (NORTH MACEDONIA / SLOVAKIA) – born in 1980. He is a poet, literary translator and critic, redactor, anthologist, doctor of Philology, works as university professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University in Bratislava. He is an ordinary member of the Independent Writers Club in Slovakia (since 2006), as well as of the Authors and Publicists International Association (APIA) with the seat in Riga – Latvia (since 2014); honorary member of the Slovak PEN Centre (since 2013) and a ordinary member since 2018, as well as member of several national and European artistic and scientific institutions, and scientific journals’ editorial boards. He has received many literary and scientific rewards and acknowledgments in Macedonia and abroad, such as: C. R. I. C. for young artists of the Mediterranean and Balkan countries (Reggio Calabria, Italy, 1995), “Aco Karamanov” (Radovish, 1997), “Beli mugri” (Skopje, 2012), golden medal “Poet laureate” (Manilla – Philippines, 2013), the rector plaque for his literary and scientific work (Varna, Bulgaria, 2015), “Silver Flying Feather” by the Slavic Academy of Fine Arts and Literature (Varna, Bulgaria, 2018) etc. His books: “Open Gates” (1995), “The Choir of the RottenLeafs” (2000), “Ridge” (2003), “Chocolates in Portfolio” (2010), “Tenderness without Warrant Paper” (2012) and “Waiting for the History” (2016). He has authored many linguistic papers and books. His work is published in more than 25 languages in approximately 30 countries in the world.
His poetry is very unique and enjoyable. Zvonko Taneski – appears as a proven poet... A master of efficient and concise points, "pregnant" with irony, Taneski makes a point like this: I will wait for you for 100 years, / but not more or like this: I breathe. Thank God, / didn't take everything from me. Skilled in short as well as long poems. Direct, daring, innovative. Taneski is already a profiled poetic and critical phenomenon, who incorporates precious values into our latest poetry. Taneski's theoretical capital is gently "implanted" in the roots of his poetry.
The nomadic journeys and various types of life initiations that the author has completed in the last few years are responsible for that – his poetic writing received exceptional freshness, masterful nuance and high intellectual insight. Zvonko Taneski writes in the spirit of the new younger European poetry, which opens up new paths, poetics, themes, interests for poetry, and offers readers a new experience of the written word, finally freed from its own gap and that is why it is so alive and amenable to new readings and interpretations.
The poetry books of Zvonko Taneski with the coherent stylistic performance that is combined from modernist, postmodernist and self-styled lyrical manner, with the consistent micropoetic gradation of the themes of the contemporary person faced with the complex social and societal reality, staring and directed towards the great expectations, the upheavals and the cruelties in life, with the convincing exposition of the structure of the poems and with the use of effective poetic resolutions - leaves a strong impression of a rounded and individualized relationship of a poetic nature - permanently dedicated to the poetic art and the literary urge.
END OF THE SECRET / КРАЈОТ НА ТАЈНАТА
I am Macedonian folklore lover
Over there one awaits – even to the grave.
I will wait for you 100 years
And each day shall be June
And you shall watch out
The others to fall asleep
Ahead of us
So that you can tell me
About your own sons, and me to you about my daughters
And about the two Persian cats with big furry tails
I will wait for you 100 years,
But not any longer than that.
TENDERNESSES WITHOUT WARRANTY SHEET / НЕЖНОСТИ БЕЗ ГАРАНТЕН ЛИСТ
To those that for the people
People usually behave badly.
Each and every revolution eats its children, but firstly
It will well – fed them.
At the same time as the automobile, the marriage corrodes as well.
Whoever has luck at cards,
Will lose nothing
Well at least while divorcing.
With the spread of feminism
Even the muses incline more to the authoress than
To the authors.
Very often we agree
About what will be tomorrow,
And then we disagree
About what it was yesterday.
In moments of weakness
"I'll eat you out of love" –
And we immediately lay a criminal act at our door.
The gap is growing.
Tendernesses are being sold
Without any warranty sheet.
THE SKY / НЕБО
Before I read the poem at the festival they warned me that
Here one can become a star. In no doubt, post festum.
Several performances, I thought, so that one can create even a sky,
Adorned with stars. Constellation that shimmers.
That’s right: applause from the audience will carry you away,
It will inspire you (expression of time, right?!)
It will raise you up to the pedestal. Then you’ll charge tickets with consumption
(Or wine tasting) in your sky.
It wouldn’t be just whichever event for the others,
You’ll become a privileged individual with mystic character.
Suspicious one for the higher authorities, one of the chosen few.
Because even the sky (honestly) is a mystery,
Unprecedented miracle. Quick escape, filled with risks.
Returning to the stage of our acne.
Before leaving the sky you’ll return the ticket to the smile.
Revenge lies at the bottom of the wine glass – tit for tat.
ROOM / СОБА
Why didn’t they let me change the room
and make me feel better,
now that even the critics are allowed to change their views
and earn more space in the magazines?
They all went for large and bright rooms
with evidently functional furniture,
and I didn’t even complain about the only one new, but hard armchair,
no trace of the second one, thought here should’ve been a pair,
just like literature is inseparablefrom the science about it.
Why was I not standard guest when choosing the bed,
and was so resolute in my desire to experiment?
Literature needs fresh love masks for modeling:
a water-bed, an exotic partner with different skin color, faith,
an unexpected adventure…
But not much depended on, I thought, what view the window had,
everything depended on where and who she’d look at
and who she’d recognize.
“Each room has a mirror”, so I hope mine would have one too,
for it shouldn’t, by any means, be an exception to the rule.
Why does my head look like a syntagmatic axis
though it is laid softly on the pillow,
and becomes a hypertext when it sinks in deep sleep?
Shouldn’t they have let me change my room?
I Wanted To Write / Сакав да пишувам
I wanted to write you a poem –
to strip you of all the metaphors, metonyms and epithets,
so that you be the naked truth,
official and recognized by the authorities
as a conclusive proof in self-defence
I wanted to write you a message
to describe you descending towards me
with a collected look,
without looking round
in case you’re being followed by anyone
untamable or indecent
I wanted to write you an e-mail,
to arise in your virtual tenderness,
and spend the ’ntire night lonesome in front of a running monitor –
so that my eyes don’t burn out in the dark –
before they get to see you in person
after a longer while
I wanted to write you a letter,
to reward you with mercy
so that you have it in reserve or in surplus
whenever you forget to smile
I wanted to write but I’ve changed the plan.
So I further continue to want.
Breathing exercises / Вежби за дишење
Caught firmly in the grip
with the intention of eradicating evil
we suddenly notice the footprints in the snow.
Someone was here tonight to check
иf we were still breathing.
Wet soil offers the necessary juices
to our thirsty throats.
Wet soil offers the necessary juices
to our thirsty throats.
Yesterday we were to test on Covid
in the village twenty kilometers from here.
It is in the black zone, as are our fatal thoughts.
No, you will try in vain
to look for it on the map,
it is enough to imagine thelush landscape around
and the bluebirds in the fields.
They move their wings
to remind us that breathing exercises
should be done regularly.
The winter sun, though shy, will still appear on the vault.
Look and breathe deeply,
Feel the snow melt under your feet.
But first, practice your passion for love.
The Loneliness of the Dialogue. Two Pictures / Осаменоста на дијалогот. Две слики
A man is since time immemorial
on the earth,
on shoulders he carries
and he will once fall to his knees,
by puzzle broken.
Our eyes were
swords pointing inward
We said so much to each other
but at the same time
we stayed silent
A Good Hunter / Добар ловец
One, two and oops!
I’m falling asleep again,
I’m followed by fatigue everywhere,
it won’t release the repose from its claws,
it won’t allow me to sprout,
to open my eyes that shine like neon lights
with an expired date,
to palpate the world through the pulse of a neurotic
obliged to take a daily dose of opium
since he lacks a car to take him to infusion.
Two, three and down!
The tongue is fooling around with its forms,
with its function of a policeman on duty,
trying to examine my alimentary canal
how it swallows the grammatical rules:
as sweets, as chocolate, as a novel.
A bad game, muse!
No sooner have we got used to linguistic labour
than there go the men of letters with their fantasy –
to look for cracks in the tongue,
to deepen their imagination.
So is there now a volunteer to stop them in their search?
A good hunter, perchance?
A White View / Бела глетка
“This evening I’m a dragon”,
said the dumb narrator between the lines,
without looking closer at the birthday figure
which resembled a crocodile.
But it doesn’t matter, what’s important is that when read –
it generates laughter,
that’s the long-sought-after effect
in the long-ago-printed works:
not proofread, yet heavily censored
by the best friends, of course – positively,
since otherwise all privileges are lost
which go without saying and should be returned
in similar occasions.
It’s best, therefore, between us - narratoresque dumbly,
to admit that you’re giving up all such responsibilities -
you need no further flattery and rivalry,
yet do not just as well stop creating,
the curious ones are waiting thirstily to lap up
the new hit.
It’ll be a good lesson, not only for the young.
For the elderly, even more.
And in the white night, when you cannot see
even the dot in front of you,
white is nothing
white is darkness
white is blind love
Give me some light!
loudly implored the implicit author
after returning from the arranged meeting
with the implied audience.
“It is behind closed doors that one can analyze
he later inferred.
A Trial Against Disloyalty. Good Luck! / Судски процес против неверата. Среќен почеток!
“The fur merchant of Milan Gino Casamanagi,
is the owner of an unsigned and unfinished painting
for which there are potential claims
that it belongs to the great Austrian painter Gustav Klimt”,
Il Giorno informed, in front of the new judges
in order to take the oath that they’ll be faithful
to justice and that they’ll bring disloyalty to trial in every sense
(they didn’t specify exactly, not to be taken pretentiously!)
The jury, in protest, refused to cook them tea,
because (they explained!) the steam could affect concentration
when the hand will be putting the signature of its future,
even though the occupation allows freedom of movement
and cross-examination of feelings…
At the same time, they were neither allowed to drink brandy,
since it acts as a multivitamin,
i.e. as doping
and some might even take it as bribing?!
Their essays were prepared by high-ranking economists,
specialized in free-time-literary work
and in creative-writing lessons,
since they found their pay and calling insufficient for
(or they’d striven, even in their youth, to change
their profession but didn’t succeed!)
A tragicomedy, obviously. After the classic division, right:
the tragic for the Big
the comical for the Small
Then why don’t you stick to the new French fashion
in your dress
when you come to work?, wondered
the main character as the hero of the forgotten lower class.
And once again, the prosaic prevailed, in the end,
laughed off his poetic first.