Poem 20 In Solidarity: Durruti 1936


Durruti 1936

Hooligan-hero, anarchist leader,
son of a railway worker, a guerrilla
with the eyes of a child and the face of a savage
proletarian propagandist, Buenaventura Durruti
insisted most of all on clarity of expression.

When he had the floor everybody understood.
Emma Goldman said that she found him a veritable beehive
of activity. And he was allegedly always in good mood.

Durruti’s Column
was built on self-sacrifice and libertarian spirit.
His funeral magnificently draped all of Barcelona in black
and red. A glorious crowd of half a million
poured down Via Layetana just like that.

Even the Russian consul
was deeply moved
at the sight of that crowd with fists in the air
who swore in that anarchist
who believed that only generals rule by force
and that discipline always comes
like a spout of enlightenment
exclusively from within.

DAMIR ŠODAN (1964) poet, playwright, editor and translator was born in Split, Croatia. He has published four volumes of poetry, two volumes o plays and an anthology of Croatian contemporary “neorealist” poetry. He is an associate editor of Poezija and Quorum magazines in Zagreb and the member of Croatian writers’ society (HDP) and Croatian PEN. For many years he has lived in the Hague, the Netherlands, where he works as a translator for the United nations.


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