The Ice-Wolf

The Ice-Wolf
Who doesn’t know I come from Rastušje
And went to school in Podvinje?...

A winter’s morning. Frost.
I’m walking alone from the village.
Passing beside the frozen Glogóvica
Suddenly I hear
Crackling, crunching, crashing… Someone’s crossing in my direction?

I immediately think of the last night’s talk
Of wolves coming out of Bosnia.
In fear
My feet
Begin to run,
Without a backward glance
Nearly to Podvinje
Where, in tears, I meet the milkmen.
The milkmen asked me: What’s up?
	Nothing, nothing, I said;
		And off I go.

That evening my mother happened to mention
That the ice on the Glogóvica was cracking with the cold.

	I heard it too! I said;
		And laughed.
Dragutin Tadijanovic

from Selected Poems (Zagreb: Hrvatski PEN, 1993)

translated by Edward Goy and Dennis Ward

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Dragutin Tadijanovic

Dragutin Tadijanović was born in the village of Rastušje. He published his first poem in 1922. He enrolled in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Zagreb, but graduated in Literature and Philosophy in 1937.

He worked as the lector of the official paper Narodne Novine, taught at the Academy of Arts in Zagreb and later worked in publishing. He joined the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Literary Institute, where he was the director between 1953 and 1973. He also served as the president of the Society of Croatian Writers from 1964 to 1965, and became an academician of the Academy.

Tadijanović died in 2007, aged 101.

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About The Ice-Wolf

This poem, representing Croatia, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.