Poetry of Juljana Mehmeti, as a fluid ornament and overtaking of the time notion
By: Agron Shele
Poetry was and still remains our deepest suggestion, eloquence of thinking, the most ideal symbolic and harmony of merging of sensitivity element with the natural one and raised to the philosophic level, it expresses perceptible concepts and visions, very often by overtaking the memory itself and the encountering the time, thus, becoming a precursor of mindset of a different future, always with variation and development. Coming in the forms and structures starting from classic ones towards the free verses, or various figurative presentations, deciphered to universal meanings and messages, this literary gender knows how to follow the coherence of life within the entire spirit of the created modality, to enounce new ideas which coincide with high virtues and with freedom by emancipating ceaselessly the human society. In this viewpoint, it is unimaginable how the world would be without poetry; perhaps it would look like a garden with no roses, with no scent of life, with no flavor, a reel where the body would be detached from the spirit and it would wander around its own coldness, same like in ether, empty, simply, a mechanical machinery which repeats the cycles of life. Starting from the comprehensive contexts of art in general and poetry in particular, reflection as a process and the tracks which should be left behind, the poet Juljana Mehmeti furnishes a different emphasis to the teal color, which is a different specter, by unification with the postmodern spirit. In the very beginning, we encounter hermetic tendencies and nuances which cross between futurism and absurd, therefore, same like in confrontism between the created dualities, a sensitive world appears, with dramatic bursts and figurative refractions which summon and plunge you into deep thoughts, with no boundary, coming from the beyond conscience. Synthesis of verses has the fluency of the penetrating idea and it is interlinked with figurative elements such as: metaphors, epithets, comparison or antithesis, increase significantly the power of verse by bringing it to different dimensions, to other prisms which breaks the current traditions in order to bring a new presentation and her individuality which is both creative and modern. The author is a poet of the fine detail, unreachable by the eye of a human being, of the fluidity and the delicacy of the word, spirited and raised to other skies, she is the poet of periphrases and images, the coded language hidden behind the stage curtains, she is a complexity of presentation of conception, almost to the border of the impossible, she is measured and merged with the time metaphysics, often up to the absurd. Her chosen style and her detachment from framed formats, makes her art versatile, more laconic, shining for the message itself which enquires to follow or draft the concept within a world with no edges, but an opened universe, diverse and endless. Penetrating into the poems of this author, entwines you with the deformed forms of life and human characters, highlighted with grey colors or silhouette forms which follow behind like shadows; directs you towards invisible threads which hide knots and tangles which need to be untwisted; it brings you to the areas which look like they are empty but which are bedimmed from the disoriented memory of the darkened reason, it sinks your senses (figurative meaning) metamorphosis which brakes the liveliness and, as in rebellion, she always has a great awakening, a revival, a new hope, an illumination which, even it appears and fades away, it whitens and enlightens with the infinity of the bright shining. Three-dimensional view of this poet goes through the bas-relief (sharp observation), outlook (forming of concepts of thoughts) and esthetic sense (spiritual feelings used in art), which looks like they are coming stretched in the space and time, performing a language which is elliptic for the genre it presents as well as philosophic for transmitting the message. What is important to distinguish in this type of poetry is the environment of presentation of the image as vivacious form in motion and an abstract spirit, as a reel and mist which encircles the borders of the reason and, in this context, refraction of light illuminates that hidden imaginary world from the deepest lore of the conscience in order to restore visible, touchable and sensitive forms of the human inner part.
Furthermore, let’s go through some poetic fragments and let’s follow the curve of the entire essentiality of thought as her product but also as her power of the expression.
At the poem “Overtaking …” we have an overpass of the state, wandering towards some unknown pathways, past footprints, broken and fragmented to eternity particles, which perhaps spread like that to the endless universe, get ionized and they ignite the color of life, different meanings and boundaries, remaining the mark of the one that is bygone even thought it revived loudly.
between nothing and infinity
language of the gone traces
particles to eternity
… always more distant
in order to understand the limits…”
Selecting of wording wandering in derivation with nothing (nobody) but also the eternity (everything) is more than a clash between two worlds, a dualism form, which always accompanies the spirit, and, like this, between two edges, the one of dark stains and endless colors, running like in infinity, with the hope that always there is a tomorrow, has a sign that it will leave behind the traces of the boundaries of existence. Also in philosophic aspect, the possibility touches levels of a recognition which overtakes the common one, it penetrates to the infinite idea, abstract and un-imaginary up to the end limit where our ignorance becomes dark and it raises endless question marks, almost paradox, with the paces towards the cohesion of time.
“Sounds of epochs
in continuous melody,
awakened to visions
of antique castles,
reigned by legends
among mystic colors
with fluid nuances
to the white alley,
which spreads out widely the limbs..”
“In his light …” is another poem which resumes to stigmatize in this way and follow the same flow of thought. Sounds of epochs are more than a continuous effort in perfection, which awakens visions through the born genesis transformed through the time almost to legends. Coming from mysticism in fluid and hyperbolized nuances, they become more mythic as in the time of rise of Gods by posing white alleys and holding the irritated breath to the past which is collapsing and to the present built in the remained ruins. Apart from the philosophy of thought, here we encounter also the symbolic alternation unified to the light, solving of enigmas, recognizing them which in the below verses revive Cleopatra as the imagery of shining of beauty but also of sensitive affections almost to the craziness, by dragging through the corridors of the pyramid the tunic of centuries, which will remain a portrait where the sadness, delicacy, passion and power of a woman will be embodied.
At the poem “Painting the feelings” but also in other following poems, you can encounter lyrical elements, which through the rich figuring, the musicality of words, eloquence of the verse, raise this feeling which is very fragile to the endless spaces, there where meteors are burning on fire, there where the rainy tears twinge a spirit, there where the longing tear becomes sea and echoes from the billows of waves, there where the moon descends to the earth and washes in the clearness of the souls fallen in love. This feeling is so strong and so extravagant, therefore poetic words are flowing and they get refracted to the light of the colors of the rainbow, in order to remain as it is, inalienable, pure and to be the meaning of the entire happiness of this world.
“…and the light cuts off the ribbons
to the distant horizon
to the end space
like that in the purity
painting of senses…”
Certainly the lyrical in the poetic style of the author is not simply a usual meditation of life emotions, or in erotic forms, but as deep product and culmination which goes through sensitive and spiritual senses and these naturalized with natural elements, merged with music notes or shining colors, create that environment, that charm, that universe which illuminates reflections up to the pureness, up to painting of senses.
All this poetry which is provided for the elite readers through the poetic volume “Overtaking”, is more than an effulgence which penetrates the life coherence, and it is more than a flux of light which spreads particles of words in the modern literary universe and as it is coming, spread to the time and space, between philosophic ideas and visions which overtakes itself, constitutes a fundamental turn and a new orientation towards the present universal thought.
Translated into English by Arben Hoti
Interview with Juljana Mehmeti
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: Do you come from a literary background?
JULJANA MEHMETI: I started writing at a young age, short poems, creations on a free theme, etc. I read a lot and I liked literature as an opportunity to express all my passion but also to pursue visions, which only through poetry could fulfill my creative desire. In the created art I see discharging of emotions but also the pursuit of those ideas, which words can not even describe.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: What inspired you to start writing?
JULJANA MEHMETI: Since I was a child, I have always liked to observe the world around me and to look in every aspect for the meaning of things, giving them my interpretation. I have always sought to understand and study what lies behind what inspires us beyond the hidden meanings and consciousness, the invisible, an interpretation that I later felt necessary to reveal and put on paper. However, this is not all because the emotion conveyed firstly to myself and then shared with the reader was so great that it always pushed me to be in search and discovery of that consciousness, which wakes up only when you follow it and try to decipher it with your own way.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: What writers did you enjoy reading as a child?
JULJANA MEHMETI: I was curious to read every book or magazine, writings by local authors like Adelina Mamaqi, Dritëro Agolli and those few books by foreign authors that the regime allowed us to read, such as Gustave Flaubert, Mark Twain, Gianni Rodari, Theodore Dreiser, etc.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
JULJANA MEHMETI: I have always preferred engaging literature and philosophy, mysticism. The poets who attract and inspire me are Emily Dickinson, Saffo, Anna Ahmatova, Sylvia Plath, Rumi, Osho, Bodler, Haruki Murakami, etc. Influenced by them I have certainly created my own poetic style, which is always moving between Hayk or free verse, why not with hermetic tendencies and surrealism, which give me the feeling that I can overcome the imagination and transcend myself.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: How did you get started as a poet?
JULJANA MEHMETI: I do not remember a certain starting point. I have always written that art that was guided through the creative muse and creative thinking, a psychology that pushed me to look at my invisible. . If I say that written art became a motto for me, I can say that this coincides with my settlement in Italy, so in 1999, I wrote my first book directly in Italian and published it in the Publishing House "Leonida Editrice", a competition, where I was selected in the final with a two-year publishing contract.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: How do your poems develop? Please guide us through the stages of a poem!
JULJANA MEHMETI: My poetry today is the trend between surrealism and the run towards the absurd. To the impossible I manage to search and look beyond myself, creating that sensitivity that I think will be followed by a trace of knowledge of tomorrow. The human being follows his visions, he/she also follows the light that sows hope and in this radiation he finds that motive or effort to travel with time and represent the era in which he lives.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
JULJANA MEHMETI: In my opinion a writing would be called good if the basic structure of the construction, the conveyed message and the metaphorical construction would create that harmony, which would immerse the reader to understand the idea and under the idea of all the conveyed art. If we would talk about a normal prose whose fable must have been intriguing, full of mysticism and one-soul pursuit of each chapter, to understand or enter into discussion with the conclusion or solution the author gives to the written work. In poetry it is something else, as poetry is elitist and the selection of words, the figuration, but also the construction of the whole poetry should be not only an emotional thrill but also a long taste of the words that remain in the mind and sounds to the eloquence of a music, that whispers continously and fills you with intoxicating breath
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
JULJANA MEHMETI: The most difficult part of writing is those moments that after the discharge of adrenaline must take the right shape, but also conclude the meaning of everything that is written in the highest aesthetic form. The final emotional but also exciting conclusion with the word in this case, which first faces itself, after reaching the creative awareness, that this poem can already be presented to the wider circle and the reader, is the anxiety of how it will be expected, but also the spirit. how critics will judge it afterwards.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: How did you manage to fit writing in with other demands on your time? Are you good at managing your time?
JULJANA MEHMETI: The time to write a poem can not be determined and consequently not even organized. As I said above, poetry is not programmed, it comes freely, I can not say how, but of course from other dimensions. It can happen that an element from everyday life, a word, a sky drawn with strange cloud shapes, manages to create the magic, the atmosphere that suddenly transports us to the temple of poetry. After this muse it is our duty to concretize it on paper and this can happen anywhere, anytime, in any kind of situation. It has often occurred to me to urgently ask for a piece of paper and a pen even in the most unusual situations. It has happened to me, for example, in the restaurant to write, on the card napkin, sometimes even with cosmetic pencils, or to miss a train that I had been waiting for hours at the station. Like any poet, night is the moment I make the most of.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: Who are your favourite living poets?
JULJANA MEHMETI: Of course I read many current poets but among the most favorite I would mention Enrico De Luca, Italian poet and writer, Agron Tufa and Flutura Acka, Albanian authors as well as many young authors whom I follow closely.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: How did you first get published?
JULJANA MEHMETI: I started publishing my works after I decided to donate my art to readers and participate in various literary competitions organized by various Publishing Houses here in Italy. I have always liked discuss among other poets, perhaps even more affirmed than I am and also in a language that is already my second language after Albanian.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: Have you ever had a work rejected?
JULJANA MEHMETI: Of course. It happened in the beginning that I sent my art to an Italian Publishing House without receiving any response, but this was not a motive to stop, on the contrary I worked much harder with the phrase and then competed with dignity.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: Can you give any advice to someone wanting to write and publish poetry?
JULJANA MEHMETI: My advice to young authors is to focus as much as possible on quality
reading, to write only when they really feel the need to express their poetic spirit, and to work hard until they create their own poetic style, a style that will identify them in the future.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: What is the imagery or mood in your poem?
JULJANA MEHMETI: Eh ... My imagination is like an unproduced film yet, it is a mix of early experiences and a constant catapult into new, invisible worlds, spaces that are complicated by fantasy and reality, but always somewhere in the middle of the clouds ... It's a world which I always seek to explain by drawing it through verses.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA What are the structural or stylistic techniques you use in your poetry?
JULJANA MEHMETI: As I wrote it and in the beginning, I wrote a lot of Hayk poetry, which is defined as form, structure and rule (5-7-5). But mostly my poetry is poetry of free verses based on hermeticism and tendencies that fluctuate towards surrealism and why not absurdity. The verses follow each other towards those meanings where the creative space transcends in some cases also the strict rules. So the form of the free verse is what makes me feel better and express the creative space as a concept, vision, message but also the philosophy of expression
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: What's the worst advice you hear authors give writers?
JULJANA MEHMETI: The advice or statement that bothers me the most and that is often used by some so-called poets who wants to achieve is "I would have written it one way or another" seeking to enter the other's fantasy in their own way. Another piece of advice I do not like at all is the one often given to me by those who fail to understand my verse. Poetry must be understood to the limits of eloquence and figuration used, as it is the elite genre
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: What does success mean to you? What is the definition of success?
JULJANA MEHMETI: I will not consider my achievement a success, as I like all other authors are trying to decipher time poetically. "Centuries of poetry and we have not yet reached the starting point," Bukovski said. So this statement summarizes it all and needs no comment.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: How do you handle literary criticism?
JULJANA MEHMETI: Literary criticism is important for a literary work. Referring to a large number of reviews of my poetry, I would say that critical art is necessary to shed another light and perspective on the written art and through it is achieved to realize an ideo-artistic breakdown, as necessary but also as much important to be understood later by the reader
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
JULJANA MEHMETI: I am working on my first novel, a rather complicated thriller based on an experienced occurrence.
ANCA MIHAELA BRUMA: If you had to describe yourself as a writer in three words, what would they be?
JULJANA MEHMETI: Discovering the invisible.
An instant … and colors are wiped out
the air remains hanging on the eyelids
Cold ices penetrate to the whole body.
the darkness spreads slowly its wings
to a thin haze …,
where everything is dissolved ..
… to the eternity of the being.
Shapes in the cloud
are dissolved abruptly…
deformed during the journey…
they reaper and disappear…
a sweet vanishing..
to the empty spaces of the unconsciousness …,of misery
and to the untold
to the far end boundary,
where the thrilling wheeze
wraps the wandering spirit…
the altered image,
the pale vision of the dying light
In the mirror of the universe the spirit is designed
refracted to the invisible circles
Appearing in continuous sequences…
and sinful desires
… in overtaking of oneself
through the night
with the only memory.
between the nothing and eternity
language of the bygone footprints
particles in eternity
… always further
to understand the boundaries …
Lights will go off
the night will get lost to the sleeping souls
to the scene hidden in the shadow backstage
with open arms to the known acting
the empty rhetoric
In grey eye sockets
with the thoughts of yesterday,
to an abandoned throne
in a broken goblet,
where ghosts yell loudly their thoughts
the last sprouts,
trickling to the torn meridian
in another additional wrinkle
of the fainted sight.
a dawn descending differently
in broken crosses
of the genesis below the arches
bedridden down to the steps,
which leaps over oneself
with a noisy trot
for the one that left
to the forgotten past
and for the one that will reappear
tomorrow with full of hope.
Stay a bit longer …
Along the haziness of the evening
in the agitated dark waters
a delayed boat is approaching
between the swaying of the wave
and a half moonlighting,
which easily slid to the awaiting harbor
for a little peace
from a distant journey.
The mystery was not needed,
neither stories for the one that conquered the seas
a little repose to the contemplative bank
with dreaming eyes in the emerald lids
a light which penetrates deep into the water
and a trembling of the chords of yellowness.
The freshly past roaming
to the cosmic dust
fixed to the colors of stars .
Somewhere … somewhere,
between the earth and the sky
rock and wind
the feverish request:
Please stay a bit longer!
It is too early…!