Beauty and the Illiterate

Odysseus Elytis (1911–1996)

Often, in the Repose of Evening her soul took a lightness from
                  the mountains across, although the day was harsh and
                  tomorrow foreign.

But, when it darkened well and out came the priest’s hand over
                  the little garden of the dead, She

Alone, Standing, with the few domestics of the night – the blowing
                  rosemary and the murmur of smoke from the kilns –
                  at sea’s entry, wakeful

Otherly beauty!

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The Cry That Takes Us Back to the Cradle

“The entire Metohija is my cradle – its winds intertwined with the sound of the bells coming from the monasteries of Zočište, the Holy Archangels, the Visoki Dečani, and the Patriarchate of Peć, sway me and prevent me from slipping into the dream of oblivion. They reawaken me and rock me gently from the Šar to Prokletije Mountains.” – Olivera Radić

Interview – Olivera Radić: Serbian Language and Literature teacher in Orahovac (Kosovo and Metohija), chronicler, journalist, humanist
Author: Nataša Dinić

In many different historical eras, just like in the Contemporary Era, numerous human kingdoms have done a lot of harm to peaceful peoples such as the Serbian people and their Church in Kosovo and Metohija.

The Battle of Kosovo is not over yet and all Serbian battles for the defense of Orthodoxy and Serbiandom are woven into it. All Serbs, wherever they lived, are appealed to and invoked to cherish the Kosovo Covenant – written by God’s hand – as their spiritual root, a gift and a pledge, and to treasure it as their cradle.

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Sonnet VI

Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374)


I once beheld on earth celestial graces
And heavenly beauties scarce to mortals known,
Whose memory yields nor joy nor grief alone,
But all things else in cloud and dreams effaces.
I saw how tears had left their weary traces
Within those eyes that once the sun outshone,
I heard those lips, in low and plaintive moan,
Breathe words to stir the mountains from their places.
Love, wisdom, courage, tenderness, and truth
Made in their mourning strains more high and dear
Than ever wove soft sounds for mortal ear;
And heaven seemed listening in such saddest ruth
The very leaves upon the bough to soothe,
Such sweetness filled the blissful atmosphere.

Translated by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1903)

Photo: Courtesy of Annie Spratt / Unsplash


The most robust element, of the five basic ones, is Wood. The element of Wood shows its sturdiness in the growth of grass through a concrete slab, in the steadfastness of conifers on the top of a windy, icy mountain, and in the seeds that crack in the sun and heat and give new life.

Wood is a symbol of new beginnings and unwavering perseverance, but also flexibility.

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Interview with a Polyglot

Interview  Laura Blumenthal
Author: Natasa Dinic

Laura Blumenthal is a polyglot who speaks six languages. She is an English language educator and a teacher trainer at Douglas College, in New Westminster, BC. She has lived and worked in the U.S., Germany, Turkey, and Canada. She is currently learning Serbian and Russian, and is active on the Polyglots Facebook group.

We spoke with Laura about what is means to be a polyglot and how much richer her personal and professional life has been as a result.

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A Reflection on an Excerpt from a Diary of Teaching Serbian as a Foreign Language Online

The world is constantly on the move and everything movable moves together with it. With the ceaseless unfolding of new chapters of life, the human race is moving, slowly but surely, into online reality with everything it brings along.

Two years ago, when I replaced almost all traditional classes of teaching Serbian language as a foreign language with online teaching, I didn’t dream that the time would soon come, when this would become just about the only possible way.

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