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Opinion / Editorial

Bequest of the poet Xhevat Beqaraj

Bequest of the poet Xhevat Beqaraj

In addition to the history of art and literature, the curiosities of the lives of artists and writers are also known, which testify to a glimpse of their character and creative personality. Such is the legacy of the poet Xhevat Beqaraj. According to his wife, Mrs. Fatmira, in the last days of her life, as she realized that she was approaching the gate of Paradise, asked her to be taken to rest in the village of her birth, in Kuta e Mallakastra. "Despite all my efforts to convince him, Fatmira told me, that Kuta was too far for my age, he still insisted on resting here, in front of Vjosa."

  On April 13, at 7:00 a.m., the poet's procession left Tirana for Mallakastër. Earlier, our mutual friend, Robert Hamitaj, with whom we are co-authors in the historical monograph, "Rrapo Hekali and the descendants of a tribe of martyrs", left Tirana. We met in Fier and in Po?em we also joined Xhevati's other friend, Bernard Caushaj, who came from Vlora by family. Both of these boys are from Hekali, and I was impressed by their pain for the poet, which was expressed with the silence covered by a beautiful sorrow of men. These boys have something from the gene of the old Albanians, something from the tradition of escorting and mourning, but above all, they possess the great virtue of gratitude that is expressed in the obligation to accompany a friend to the last residence. "To lay a hand on the body of a friend, for me, is a great moral obligation." says Berti. These words came to me like a Homeric verse, like a word of faith that was expressed with the words of the men of the north. This tradition of the "hand of the earth" is the gold mine in the architecture of death built by our people over the centuries, and its reappearance, in these two hekalyots, filled me with spiritual light. They looked like two knights of honor to me. The last time, two months ago, the three of us met with Xhevat and Berti in Tirana. We had lunch somewhere and when we left, we put our arms around him and accompanied him home, promising that we would come to see him again. But we never thought that our meeting would take place in Kuta... with one hand and...

Kuta is one of the most beautiful villages of Mallakastra and looks like a balcony over the Vjosa valley. Here the waters flow with the narration of 1000 magnificent stories about the lands and people, about winters and summers, about the past and the present. On its two shores, many poets, brave soldiers and heroes have appeared throughout the centuries, filling its history with the glory of centuries. This river, of peace and war, has become bread and life in the hearths of the Mallakstriots, it has become the pride of the homeland and a symbol of human greatness. In antiquity, the Romans worshiped him alongside the Tiber and the Nile, animated him in the form of a muscular man, and decorated the coins of Apollonia with him. Nymphs appeared at night by its edge and danced around the fires, while oracles burned the leaves of the divine oak to read human fortunes. Now, that muscular man who "carried on his back" ancient Aos, rests in his past glory. Even the fires of the oracles have been extinguished over the centuries. While the blue fires of Vjosa were never extinguished. They burn early in the souls of the inhabitants of Mallakastra. These fires are her third coast. It is exactly this fire that burned in the soul of Xhevat Beqaraj and formed the core of this trust. In a way, Vjosa was a symbol of his art, a "Jordan" of his poetry, just like the lake of Lasgush Poradec. Just like the sea that "burns" in the bequest of the painter Ibrahim Kodra who asked to rest in his native Ishim, facing the Adriatic. It seems that this is the gift of people with great souls who make even death speak through the meaning of trust. They believe in spirits and Xevat was a great believer in the human soul.

The funeral was held at 11 o'clock. The motorcade leaves the cars in the center of the village, right where the cypress grows magnificently green for the "meeting of the generations" in August, which the residents of this village use as a metaphor for their annual reunion. He will walk further. The village is waiting for us gathered there. The fellow villagers of Xhevat, the men and women of the well-known Beqaraj tribe who have come to see him off, are many. They feel it as an obligation of gratitude to throw it, the "hand of the earth" for their son. I don't know why it seems to me that all these men look so much like Xhevat. Yes, that height, that slow speech accompanied by hand gestures, those blue eyes as if stained by the waters of Vjosa and... that poetic soul. So Xhevati was a poetic eruption of an inherited spirit. Except the most "arrived" of all other souls.

"In Xhevati's literary work, our Kuta, with its beautiful and prosperous nature, has taken place," said veteran teacher Gëzim Shehu, among others, in his closing speech. - There is a place for the blue wave Vjosa and everything else that is amazing from our blessed birthplace. His bequest to rest in his homeland is very significant for all of us. Today we are sending off our best man… the best among us!”

The cemetery is at the foot of the hills, facing Vjosa, among the centuries-old olive trees. As I looked at the olive trees and Vjosa, I remembered Xhevat's oath for his homeland, dissolved in his verses. For these stones, for these people, for these soils that he sanctified within himself and how Anteu returned and received creative power precisely from them. This also constitutes the magmatic material where the core of his legacy was developed. I also remembered God's oath about olives, as one of the four objects of his oath. "I swear by the olive trees, says God... because Jesus Christ had the most important revelation in Zeitun, which means Olive Tree." And it was here, between his poetic "Jordan" and the olive trees, the oath of God, that his last residence was built. Here, he, the children's poet, the true "child" of Paradise, will rest eternally. Now this village has "three saints". The river, the olive and the poet. Through his bequest, Xhevat Beqaraj completed a precious trinity for his hometown. May the earth be light, O man who came and went away bringing kindness as a saint of poetry!

Nuri Plaku