Josip Osti

Josip Osti, poet, storyteller, essayist, literary critic, anthologist, translator and editor, was born in 1945 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He wrote his first poem at the tender age of fifteen. He has enjoyed a remarkable literary career and has so far published over 270 books, among them over 30 books of poetry, five books of prose, numerous essays, liter¬ary criticism, journalistic texts, and 14 anthologies of Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Slovenian poetry and prose. He has trans¬lated over 110 books of Slovenian poetry and prose, as well as 17 plays into Serbo-Croatian and Croatian/Bosnian. He lives in Slovenia, in Tomaj, in the Karst region.


(Foto: Murr) 



Our garden of love, my love, ist the dictionary and
the grammar of my poetic language…. A garden
you enter walking toward me silentli like
the morning light is my dictionari of colors and
scents. When you stroll through it barefoot, carefully not
to damage the blades of grass that bend down under the
weight of the drops of morning dew, the blossoms
of all the flowers turn their colorful crowns to you
and greet you with their many scents.
When you come closer to me, I see a reflection of the
calendula in your eyes…. Your eyes are not,
as many poets would proclaim, blue like clear sky
or like the irises, but instead, to me, the irises and
the clear sky are blue like your eyes. And to me,
your naked body does not smell of flowers,
but instead the flowers smell of your naked
body…. Our garden of love, my love,
is the dictionary and the grammar of my poetic
language…. Its nouns the trees, the shrubs and
the flowers that we have planted together. Its adjectives
their shapes and colors. And the pronouns their
other, hidden faces. The verbs the clouds that
drift in the sky above, the cats that run through
the garden and the bats that fly around our
heads in the evening. And the numerals the uncounted
stars, ants…. A branch your eyelash.
Beseech the sunbathing snake. Call for the cypress tree
at the cemetery. The three ellipsis points are swallows on
the electric wire. The colon the pupils of your eyes. The
period death that we are facing…. Our garden
of love, my love, is the dictionary and the grammar
of my poetic language that carries the rhythm,
of our beating hearts, our accelerated
breathing and the ever faster movements of our
perspiring bodies that embrace and kiss each other.

(Translated by Marta Košir)