Sunday, November 8, 2009

The old cinema.

Old cinema,
Abandoned cinema
Where no films, not even reruns, have been shown for a long time,
Where the audiences no longer make a clatter with their seats,
Where peanuts are no longer sold
At intermission.

The stained screen,
The broken speakers,
The empty seats like lines unwritten.
Pensive and full of nostalgia
I stare from the doorway
At this poem of seats, long and abandoned.

Childhood cinema,
Tumbledown cinema,
I've seen so many countries,
I've seen so many auditoriums,
But none of them have I entered with such joy
As you,
Shabby old cinema,
Wonderful and precious to me!

Nowhere have I felt better,
Not in luxurious halls of shining velvet,
With a couple of blondes at my side.
To you I come
In the company of a gypsy or two.

Coins, coins,
Money collected with difficulty,
Jingling merrily at the ticket-booth,
The posters by the mosque
And by the Bazaar Cafe
Drawn by Qani the doorman himself.

One poster said:
'Soviet film',
Another for the same film said:
'Czech film',
But no one really cared,
We forgave you everything,
Dear old

On that bit of screen
We saw a bit of the whole world,
For the first time.
On six square metres
The world had no limits,
The world was splendid
Even though the screen was patched up.

We too were patched up,
Patched up was the Republic,
Time, elbows, States were patched up,
But the glossiest of screens
Had never seen
A sparkle like the one
In our eyes.

Old cinema,
Abandoned cinema,
Seats where childhood days
Sat in rows.
Childhood days,
Always chattering,
Like a row of birds
On a telephone wire.

Old cinema,
Abandoned cinema,
Heavy, long and sunken seats.
As old as I get,
Wherever I go,
Like a porter I'll carry them
With me, those seats.

Ismail Kadare.

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