The Sunset and the Lumps

Translated from the Albanian by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj

Of what was it I was thinking?
So the meaning escapes.

            – An excerpt from ‘Metaphors of a Magnifico’ by Wallace Stevens

The first man said that the sunset was visiting the city
Together with one or two lumps
The second man said that the lumps had arrived at sunset
The third man spent one full day thinking only about the lumps
Then he spent a full winter night thinking only about the sunsets
Afterwards he thought about both the sunsets and the lumps
At the end he concluded that the first two men were wrong
He also denied having thought about them…

This is a reprint of work originally published in A Gospel of Light.

Alisa Velaj was shortlisted for the annual international erbacce-prize for poetry in June 2014. She was also shortlisted for Aquillrelle Publishing Contest 3 in January 2015 and was the first runner-up in this contest. Velaj’s full-length book of poetry A Gospel of Light was published by Aquillrellle in June 2015.

Velaj was born in the southern port town of Vlora, Albania, in 1982. She studied Albanian Language and Literature at the University of Tirana and earned an MA in Literature under the writer Mitrush Kuteli. Velaj now teaches Literature at the University of Durres. She is the author of two verse collections: Themelet e eres (Foundations of the wind) and Drejt ajrit (To air). Her work has appeared in a number of print and online international magazines, including Blue Lyra Review, OneTitle Reviews, The Cannon’s Mouth (UK), The Missing Slate (UK), The Midnight Diner (USA), Poetica Magazine (USA), Time of Singing (USA), Canto (USA), Enhance (USA), Ann Arbor Review (USA), The French Literary Review (UK), SpeedPoets (Australia), Lummox #3 (USA), erbacce (UK), fourW twenty-five (Booranga Writers’ Centre, Australia), Poetry Super Highway (USA), KNOT Magazine (USA), The Otter (USA), The Journal (UK), Phenomenal Literature (New Delhi, India), The Brighter Light Poetry Anthology (Canada), The Atherton Review (USA), Immagine & Poesia, Vol. 2 (Canada), Section 8 Magazine (USA), 111O (Belgium), WritingRaw (USA), Three and a half point 9 (UK), and in an anthology by Mago Books (USA). She also has work in forthcoming issues of The Dallas Review (USA), Poetica Magazine (USA), LangLit: An International Peer-reviewed Open Access Journal (India), Lummox #4 (USA), and in two forthcoming issues of The Linnet’s Wings (UK).

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