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  • Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani

Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani: Their City/Leur Cité/Njihov Grad

Image: Unsplash, downloaded (16.5.2021.)

In the eye of the other: London post-Brexit

The city dreams on Tranquil Vale O čemu ovaj grad sanja?

velvet tones Zvukovi se spuštaju na vodu poput

landing on the waters in Lisson Street baršuna

je ne sais pas, l’eau est troublante ici

A touch of rubine beauty on Adelaide Street Zrnce ljepote pada

descending slowly towards Duncannon Street

moving to city rooftops, terraces na tuđe gradske krovove, dvorišta

in Orange Street

Verticals in longing, sleepless fountains Verticales du désir qui ne nous

on Vigo Street appartiennent pas

espaces perdus des fontaines


on Old Compton Street opulent gardens,

traces of wild jasmine and thyme Bujni vrtovi zarobljeni

iza zatvorenih vrata

traces de souvenirs, le jasmin,

le thym de notre enfance

landing on dreamers’ lips in Lisle Street ne s’abandonnent pas aux lèvres

des rêveurs

In the shadows of silent bells on Islington High

Street U sjeni nijemih zvona

muses, abandoned, ready to die muses délaissées spremne na

vječni san

on Malvern Street

The city is taking thoughts into its hands Grad nas ne prihvaća u svoje ruke

in Toynbee Street

exhaling on Elizabeth Street Izdišemo polako

it sleeps in the Inner Temple Gardens pendant que la cité dort tranquillement

lungs resting in Lee Terrace à bout de souffle nos poumons

Quiet arches on shadowy squares Tragaju za nama pod tihim

svodovima sjenovitih trgova

in Queensway

open their hearts to passers-by naša srca

on Old Street naša tijela

not ready for the bodies nespremna za njihove prostore

on North End

spaces on Sandy Road Mi nismo osvajači gradova

of the city’s invaders on Oxford Street

It awakes, breaths in Islington Green elle se réveille, respire

hearts pumping in High Holborn naša srca umiru

cranes move like spiders on Cannon Street dok se dizalice kreću

poput pauka

City folk in Canonbury i ljudi iz Cityja

rush into their everyday lives žure u svoju svakodnevicu

on Ravenscroft Street

convinced they hold the answers

to global truths nisu nam dostupne globalne istine

on Columbia Road

The city on Tooting High Street leur cité, njihov grad

retells its stories backwards

on the Regent’s Canal prepričava naše priče unatrag

to those on Tavistock Square

whose tongues on Woburn Walk nos parlers intraduisibles

cannot be translated into the straight lines pensées symétriques

of city’s avenues on Carnaby Street avenues urbaines

narratives in Newport Street narrations de l’autre

folding memories on Calvert Avenue Njihov grad rastvara naša sjećanja

historical dust on Hercules Road poussières d’histoire

lost in time-space of Little Venice izgubljenih u prostoru-vremenu

birds sit in stillness about to fly away neke ptice nepomično sjede

on Brick Lane

undoing sounds on Ulysses Road le mythe d’Ulysse se défait devant nous

of a distant melody from Old Naval College davna melodija kolonijalnih vremena

Faces on Fortune Green Gardens Nečija lica

looking up

sky above Lymington Road regardent en-haut

About the author: Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani is a London-based multilingual and international poet of mixed heritage (Croatian/Algerian) born in Zagreb. Her multilingual poems in English, Croatian and French have been published in literary magazines and journals in the UK, Canada and Croatia. In 2017, she developed a multilingual poetry project “Unbound” that received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Language Acts and Worldmaking Small grants programme in 2018 and 2019. As part of “Unbound”, she (co-)directed several multilingual poetry performances and recitals entitled “Reveries about Language / Rêveries autour de la langue / Sanjarenje o jeziku” (Pinter Studio, Queen Mary University of London, 20 March 2019; Worldmaking Live Festival, 3 June 2019, King’s College London). The last multilingual poetry recital planned in Zagreb on 19 March 2020 was postponed because of COVID-19; instead, it took place online on 11 December 2020. Jasmina has given talks and published essays on her multilingual poetry practice. She has a doctorate (PhD) in French Literary and Cultural Studies. More information about her poetry work and activities can be found at:



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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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