Mili Dueli 2023 Poezija

Silvia Goldman – Sesilija (Mili Dueli 2023 – Grand Final)

Name and surname:
Silvia Goldman
Poem for the 4th and 5th round (Final / Grand Final): (TRANSLATION INTO MONTENEGRIN + YOUR NATIVE / ENGLISH LANGUAGE )

Zašto život traje kao beskrajan dan, a JA NE?
Zašto život, a ja NE jedan dan?

Kad bi znali,
oni što me vide sa mojim artikulisanim razumnim jezikom i direktnim emocijama,
oni što me vide artikulisanu i direktnu,
da nemam jezik
ni razum ni direktnih emocija;
kad bi znali
da bih se bacila,
da bih postala sesilija,
i zatvarajući oči takođe sesilija,
i sesilija dok se baca, i silvija dok se baca,
i sesilija u zraku, i silvija u zraku,
i sesilija s bosom nogom, a silvija se drži za njenu bosu nogu,
i sesilija dok želi doći do zemlje, a silvija koči svoje tijelo u vazduhu.

Dana kad je pala sesilija, pala je i silvija.

Kad bi samo znali,
oni što vide u mom jeziku ritam razuma bez padova,
da nekad padam,
da bivam kriva,
da bivam sesilija.

Translated to Montenegrin by Anđela Turukalo Dabetić


¿por qué la vida perdura como un día interminable y yo NO?
¿por qué la vida y NO yo un día?

Si supieran
los que me ven con mi lengua articulada en sensatez y emociones directas
los que me ven articulada y directa
que no tengo lengua
ni sensatez ni emociones directas
si supieran
que me lanzaría
que sería cecilia
y cerrando los ojos también cecilia
y cecilia lanzándose y silvia lanzándose
y cecilia en el aire y silvia en el aire
y cecilia con su pie descalzo y silvia agarrándose de su pie descalzo
y cecilia queriendo llegar al suelo y silvia frenando su cuerpo en el aire.

El día en que cayó cecilia cayó silvia.

Y si supieran
los que ven en mi lengua un ritmo de sensatez sin caídas
que estoy caída
que estoy torcida
que estoy cecilia.


Why should life endure like one endless day and NOT I?
Why life, and I NOT one day?

If they knew
those who see me with my tongue fluent in wisdom and plain emotions
those who see me fluent and plan
that I have no tongue
nor wisdom nor plain emotions
if they knew
that I would cast myself out
I would be cecilia
and closing my eyes then too cecilia
and cecilia casting herself out and silvia casting herself out
and cecilia in the air and silvia in the air
and cecilia with her bare foot and silvia grasping at her bare foot
and cecilia wishing to reach the ground and silvia halting her body in the air.

The day cecilia fell silvia fell.
And if they knew
those who see in my tongue a rhythm of wisdom without falling
that I am fallen
that I am awry
that I cecilia.

Translated by Charlotte Whittle

Something special about you!
I am a motherless mother who has given herself a mother through my kids, Eli and Ana Luz, and my husband, who is my tree, and the person from whom I learn love, and to love love. Horses (real and imaginary) have been part of my life since I was a kid. I thank horses my first encounter with bliss. As I ride, I manage to go further away from loss. I love the poem “She Had Some Horses”, by the Native American Poet, Joy Harjo, especially the ending: “She had some horses she loved. / She had some horses she hated / Those were the same horses”.
I teach Hispanic Literature at DePaul University in Chicago, I am originally from Uruguay. I participate in the project Poetic Education for the World. I am a cancer survivor, I will be giving my first writing workshop for women with breast cancer this Saturday. I am a “Mentor Angel” and volunteer in the organization “Immerman Angel”, I support Speaking Spanish women going through breast cancer.
i am a fan of Uruguayan soccer, and I used to play it well as a kid (although it was not “correct” for a girl to play soccer at the time). I love dulce de leche.
I would also like to mention that this poem is very dear and close to me. I wrote it many years ago, before I was a mother. The suicide of my first cousin, Cecilia, has haunted me since it happened, she was 15, I was 14. I am happy that, through the poem, her name and memory are cherished and honored. I would like to thank Angela for translating it for me. We should talk more about difficult issues such as this.
What do you think is the main problem of peace in your country? Suggest solutions to us, and how to bring and preserve peace in your country with poetry?
I am fortunate to have lived at least half of my life in a peaceful country. It’s not a perfect country, but comporting to other countries, people live peacefully and are not afraid. Having said that, I believe education has to play an important role in bridging the gap of inequality. I am concerned about the current crisis in public education. In my parents’ generation, Uruguay was well known for the quality of its public education, this has changed, and I hope that we can come up with ways to strengthen the quality of education so that less privilege children are provided with real and concrete opportunities to cultivate their souls. I want all kids to feel hopeful.
Uruguay had a military dictatorship during the seventies. I believe that there needs to be more dialogue about the legacies of the dicatorship in every day life and also in our language.
I try to promote peace by participating and mentoring in the project “Poetic Education for the World”. Agustin Benelli, a chilean poet and radio broadcaster, is the founder of this project that is promoting the cultivation of a poetic sensibility in the public schools in Chlie and in other countries. As poets involved in this project, we become active participants in the classroom as “poet educators”, through workshops and other acitivities, we try to cultivate a poetic sensibility in children and teenagers. We believe that a poetic education can bring hope and empower students to live happier, empathic, and peaceful lives. The link to the project is the following:
List of the published books:
Ese eco que une los ojos (with Esperanza Vives), Almud Ediciones 2023
árbol y otra ansiedades, Isla Negra ediciones 2021
miedo, Axiara ediciones 2020
De los peces la sed, Loboestepario 2018
No-One Rises Indifferent to Sorrow (chapbook translated by Charlotte Whittle)
Cinco movimientos del llanto, Hermes Criollo 2008
Do you expect to win the contest?

You can watch and vote the video posted on Mili Dueli’s official Facebook page:



Mili Dueli 2023 – Fifth Round (Grand final)



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