Posts by Mirza Puric

Asymptote Podcast: Experiments

A new episode goes live!

In this episode, we dive into the innovative poetry and translations of Asymptote‘s Winter Issue. First, we take a look at the rhythmic poetry of South African poet Toast Coetzer, which blurs the line between music and poetry. Then we examine how Victoria Cóccaro and Rebekah Boudon translated Pablo Katchadjian’s supposedly untranslatable poem “Martin Fierro Ordered Alphabetically.” After that we’ll listen to Rajiv Mohabir wonderful translation of Lalbihari Sharma’s folk songs from Holi Songs of Demerara. And finally, we’ll see how Jared Pearce brought ancient Babylonia to America with his poetic translations from Babylonians as Americans as Babylonians. This is the Asymptote Podcast.

Translation Tuesday: Four Poems by Anita Pajević

"technically speaking, you’ll clasp her to your knees. / you’ll clean her fish ponds / to make her laugh."



it morned. godded.

thin soup enspooned on the stove.

an emotion to match. an H on the access tabulations,

in lukewarm plates. like H, like morn.

i didn’t go to the Hraveyard with dad.

not even when things prayered down on him. READ MORE…

Translation Tuesday: “Sketch” by Zerina Zahirović

Translated by our editor-at-large Mirza Purić

She died quietly, she died the death of those who love stubbornly, angrily, jealously, secretly, and

elephantishly. At a neighbour’s urge, she treated rheumatoid arthritis with crude oil. The therapy resulted in second-degree burns. On the inside of my eyelids I sketch her knees – two magical orbs of glass – and I rub them with devil’s claw unguent. Prayer and displeasure spill softly in the room in which we are alone and furtive, for

where, why, and for whom does the devil

make unguent from his claw? She died quietly, to render loud some mornings that had tumbled down and stuck into me like hedgehogs. I sketch those mornings as a


crooked bicycle tyre. I push the bicycle uphill into the whitish dawn, I hurry to spill before her the smell of the lead from the newspaper, the smell of the pastry which is a crumbled sketch of her face on the inside of my eyelids. The way I close the distance between us is like the way her eyebrows come together in a frown, she pushes hard sugar cubes into my mouth, and I buzz in the garden for hours and I sip the sap of a liquorice. I sketch her as READ MORE…

Translation Tuesday: Two Poems by Miodrag Stanisavljević

Translated by our editor-at-large Mirza Puric



Death likes pretty names.


Pelvic bones make good stirrups.

Gypsies’ cruelty to jades Madame Geneticist has always admired.

Lamp him across the gob, Joshka.


Translation Tuesday: “A Fistful of Walnuts” by Bojan Krivokapić

Translated from the Serbian by Mirza Puriç

In September 1992, I started school. We lived in the country back then, in one of those Voivodinian villages headed for extinction. Small, fat and grubby-faced, I dragged my green, cube-shaped, double-buckled rucksack—emblazoned with apples, a motif from Snowy White, I suppose—full of Serbian, maths, science and social studies text books. I may have also had a container of that white glue, the one that came with a plastic spatula, the one that smelt of dairy products.


Five poems by Darko Cvijetic

Translated by Mirza Purić


You can hear the dreaming of a bird
The close-eyed water

Every moment a sound
A soundlet
Leaves the heart

The lamp dissolves the skin of someone’s shadow
By the chair leg

And you’re the eye of a calf

God may approach you

The Cantos inhabits
Dead men have no mothers

(I’m feeling uncountable
relax relax darling
after all these years)

I’m pregnant she says

There is more
Soil in me than usual READ MORE…

Translation Tuesday: Three Poems by Faruk Šehić

Reflections from Bosnia and Herzegovina on war and the modern world

die young and leave a beautiful corpse


thus spoke rockers

but this is another planet here

on Padež hill

eleventh day of duty goes by

the first after Smajo’s death