Poems by Maja Herman Sekulić

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

AUTHOR’S BIO: Maja Herman-Sekulić  (Serbia/USA) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maja_Herman_Sekulić is an internationally published Serbian-American author of 23 books in Serbian, English German and French; her poems were translated in 25 languages. Of her poetry, Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky said: “her poetry is of the rarest talent and beauty as she is herself”. Maja is an acclaimed and award nominated poet, novelist, essayist, bilingual scholar, and a major translator. Her last book is a novel “NINE LIVES OF MILENA Pavlovic Barillli” published first in Serbia by Barilli Foundation in June 2021.

Most recently she was anointed by the UN World Literary Forum their ”International Ambassador of Peace”, by the Galaxy International Foundation and Academy and the World Literature, India, their “Ambassador of Culture and Good Will”, by Global Literary Society their Adminstrator and unique “Global Poetry Icon” and the “Icon of Style of Serbia in last 2 centuries”. In last 3 years she was awarded 13 international literary awards in India, Italy, Turkey, US, Russia and Romania, and First Serbian Oscar for popularity. Most recently she won Citta di Galatta – Antioni de Ferraris award for the best poetry book in foreign language that will be awarded in Rome in October 2021.  She is also a world traveller and a Princeton Ph.D.  in Comparative Literature. She is a member of the American and Serbian PEN, American Academy of Poets, Association of writers of Serbia and Serbian Literary Society. She was schooled and lived all over the world from Europe and USA to the Far East, and now shares her time between New York and Belgrade.

Tesla and I

On top of the world I
in the poet’s towerup up there
in the gray sky
letting my thought out
singing in full voice
it is all rock and roll
it is all in those blades of grass
on the Bryant Park lawn
where Nikola Tesla fedhis beloved white dove
she then flew to him
to the stone tower
landed on the edge
of the New YorkerHotel window sill
up up there in the clouds
on the 33rd floor
in the garretwhere they wed
among the stone faced griffons
as witnesses
where I dwell now
Among narrow gothic walls
Encircling his ascetic bed
trying to get into his head
to write a sonnet
abouthow he tamed Niagara falls
how he lit the first electric city
how he discovered magnetic waves
and about the earth energy
and the eternity
he knewwritingthe great American ode
reciting it with gusle
as if it were a Serbian epic poem
about how he ended up here
the wizardisolated and forgotten
although he changed the world
we live in
his worldlives
inmy poem

The Grand Plan

The train moves on
from Penn station
it takes me to Princeton
over and over again
Ivy League that is the plan
what is the plan
I knew three American Poet Laureates
two of them loved me
butit is not the grand plan
I will write one day
as soon as I resolveenigma
of the ducksswimming
with new ducklingsin my fountain
every spring
every early spring
in the city
the only plan

Daughter of Sisyphus*


daughter of Sisyphus
of the Idealist
of the Crazy Revolutionary
of the Martyr
of the Nuthead
of the Great Man
whoknew greatnessfrom when born
in the State
in the country
we so hate
that Statetook my father away
when I was sixmonths old
threw him on the rocks
made him carry themback and forth
with no purpose
or gain
broke all his bones
tried to break his spirit
buthe resisted
a hero and a victim
in that State
that is no more
His beautiful wife
my motheralonewith me
crying,crying endlesslyhad to flee
to another city
not to hearme cry
so desperately
becauseI was used to being held
in his arms
being sung towith lullaby
he wrote for me
in that house that is no more
She returnedafter three days
and becamemother
and fatherto me
and this is howmy life began
in that land
that is no more
in that Statewe so love
and we so

*For the crime of cheating death, Sisyphus must push his boulder up the mountain only to have it roll back down each day. This poem is dedicated to all victims of Tito’s regime who were sent to Goli otok (Naked Island) on the Adriatic in ex-Yugoslavia to endure years of hard labor 1948-1954 for the crimes of free thought.