Remembering a great Albanian poet Agim Mato


Agim Mato was born in 1947 in Saranda, Southern Albania and passed away on 10 may 2021. When he was aged three years old, the Communist Party arrested his father together with a group of other intellectuals as enemies of the system, and imprisoned him for 15 years. Since that time, his life has known many challenges. Living in poverty and without basic rights, Agim Mato was prevented from going to University. As such, after finishing his High School, he became a labourer. At the age of 20, Mato published his first book ‘South’ (Jug), and four years later also completed his second book of poems entitled ‘On the doorstep of our homes’ (Në pragun e shtëpive tona). Being the son of an ex political prisoner, his right to have his work published was revoked and his books were ordered to be pulped. He was to never publish again during the regime. After the collapse of Communism, Mato sold his house, bought a printing press and established the publishing house “Milosao”. Mato publishes the works of other authors but does not print his own until 2011 when he publishes three books back-to-back entitled ‘Outside of the Eclipse’ (Jashtë eklipsit), ‘Immersion’ (Fundo) and ‘Navigations’ (Lundrimet). These were well received by critics and by the reading public.

Agim Mato was elected as the head of the ‘Ionian Creators’ Club’ (Klubi i krijuesve Jonianë).

In the year 2014, the President of the Republic of Albania accorded him the title of Grand Master.


I await to leave this body. I can no longer dwell

in this caricature burned by the forgotten dreams, lit

during lonely nights,

by the fires that so devour

and nearly scorch it entirely.

Many times have I let this body drip

awaiting nights and days in the brink of time, edge of galaxies,

under the deafening resonation of stars.

I can no longer stay and dig

in these buried cities of memories,

where the wind blows the diapers of the dead poems,

in case I find in the heaps of rubbish,

a lost caress, the shell out of which appeared Aphrodites

and the glimmer of a light extinguished by the storms.

What’s done is done in this life. Now I’m aa beggar,

who stretcheshis hand out to proverbs. Maybe

they will briefly donate to me the magic password to open

the Sesame of beauty

that I did not reach.

If not today, tomorrow I will leave this body.

It is poitnless

to stay inside these remains,

calcified by the yers, the waiting

and the grunts of previous censors.


I am lonely in the South, wizened over the cliff,