Located at the intersection of regional roads to Pazin, Kanfanar, Svetvincenat and Labin, Zminj is a small town in Istria, Croatia.

small_Žminj library floor

Zminj Library is a most beautiful historic house in town. There I met librarian and dedicated poet Nada Galant.

Over the years, Galant published four books of her poems written in Zminj Chakavian dialect, a dialect only use by a community of less than 4,000 people.

National Geographic report Enduring Voices says, “By 2100, more than half of the 7,000 languages spoken on Earth – many of them not yet recorded – may disappear…”

DANAS JE TA DAN is one of Nada’s poems loved by her daughter Ana Galant, a student of Comparative Literature and big fan of mom.

I asked Ana for a literal translation of DANAS JE TA DAN into English.

Here is the beautiful Nada – Ana Duo

small_Nada Galant DANAS JE TA DAN

Today is the day – by Nada Galant / English translation by Ana Galant

If there is any whole pocket left,

We should unfold it and stack

In front of us everything that’s in it

Today is the day

(breadcrumbs will be good for the birds, everything else – we can do without)

Today is the day

If we could only find the doors through

which we passed so cursorily

Then we could go back, not backwards,

to slowly and thoroughly,

From scratch,

Be a child, a grandchild, a friend…

Be everything once again

Not so much to change things,

But to slowly be and not run away

Today is that day,

And where was I looking?

To read a copy of the untranslated poem, you may contact Sindy Chan at

small cat_Žminj
small_Žminj library

Margaret began writing at high school, and wrote on and off while working to attain a Master of Science degree. After working as an analytical chemist for ten years, participating in activities with the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and raising a family, she moved on to study writing and editing, and achieve a Diploma in Library and Information services. She entered her first novel The Wild One in the Fellowship of Australian Writers Jim Hamilton Award (2011) and received a highly commended, this award being for an unpublished novel of sustained quality. Now with her boys grown up, she has begun to rewrite her early novels. Editor in Chief and Science Editor for The Australia Times, she lives with her three men in Melbourne, Australia, in a house with a metal roof that is used as a runway by possums.

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