Zajc Dane:
The Captive Wolf

Run, run, run.

With velvet steps.

With sinewy wild legs.

Run quietly like a silent grey spirit,

run around the cage,

upon the rotting leaves.

Run ahead.

Run back.

With open muzzle.

With red tongue.

Run like the grey shadow,

the grey silent shadow of hatred,

the grey shadow of contempt

in the cage.


Run. Run. Run.

Howl, howl

wild and hostile.


Where do packs of wolves run free.

Where do droves of grey spirits,

float in milky moonlight

like the core of a devilish flock.

Where are the soft throats of sheep.

O gorge on the sweet blood of sheep.

O howl. Howl.


Why do you howl, wolf,

as the earth howls,

when crushed by a mountain of rocks?


Why do you howl, wolf.

Why do you howl,

as if you had caught in your gullet

long black thorns.

Translated by Erica Johnson Debeljak