Selected Poems – Book Review – Eurasia Review


As an Indian, I could identify very well with the poems, because we too today enjoy an independence that has been fought hard. …”

“GAME OF SHADOWS”, a collection of poetry by Dr. Xhemil Bytyçi, is an unusual bouquet of poems written with the sensitivity of both a poet and a doctor who has seen pain regularly during his medical profession and in life after growing up in a nation that has known immense struggles!

The poems also recount the pain and pressure, as well as the determination and hope that led the Albanian people to their cherished goal.

When fate was lost

We traveled without a trace

We are guilty, egos have roared

Finally we gave in


In the name of hope

For deliverance

Trepidations of our convictions…


Albanian, you twisted yourself for centuries

Yet never leaning towards antiquity


The lines above indicate the journey of struggle undertaken to achieve a goal that seemed elusive, but the struggle continued as follows:

Imaginary snakes slithered

Through the memories

In stretches of time and centuries

hungry resistance

Like humanity

Forged broken mirrors…


And these lines further reinforce the struggle of a people, of an entire nation to free itself and create its own identity. The anguished cry for freedom is inescapable throughout this collection of poetry. Here is a sample:

In the age of innocence

I was hoping at least to find the real name

As the tears rolled down my cheeks

Bouncing on unknown paths…


In fact, it will not be an exaggeration of me to say that this book is a dedication to all those who fought and gave their lives for the freedom of Albania – for today’s Albania it is a country that breathes freely, standing on its own abilities and power, keeping its head held high!

This pride in being able to move forward on your own is well evidenced in the poems of Dr. Xhemil Bytyçi in his collection of poetry “GAME OF SHADOWS”. And there is also this sense of pride in having developed the ability to forge its own distinct and clear path and identity on the world stage as a free country.

We took the path of progress

And reach day at dawn

Our passions are bubbling now


I consider it a huge honor to have been invited by poet Dr Xhemil Bytyçi to write a foreword for his superbly written collection of poetry “GAME OF SHADOWS” which is both inspiring and touching on a level and poetically enjoyable and enlightening to another level.

His choice of words is impeccable, as is his sensitivity and power of expression.

Shadow games hidden in mysticism

Next to them we sculpt freedom

In shadow games

We turned body and soul to dust

I got drunk with tears and blood

To open the eyes of the world

To our freedom

The lines above express helplessness and struggle so well as if the breath had been choked before it dared to exhale! Such was the fight for freedom! As an Indian, I could relate very well to the poems because we too today enjoy an independence that was fought hard and won from the British after almost two centuries of struggle!

The title GAME OF SHADOWS for this sensitively written collection of poetry by Dr Xhemil Bytyçi, is so fitting in every way that I believe the quest for freedom often leads through a maze and a game of shadows to be found a way out to be in the open air and breathe freely!

A standout feature of GAME OF SHADOWS is the language – so sweet, so soothing and yet strongly affirming its points. And that very feature makes it an exceptional collection of poetry that teaches budding and established poets a thing or two about making a point effectively without being to the face or punchy!

After such a dream they played us

A game played with permissions and fires

Between Europe and Kosovo

From offices in Europe

They close our eyes with ashes of fire

So they could break the heart of Mitrovica

The pathos and pain, the disappointment and despair of a situation – can all be felt so deeply in the lines above, that we are one with the people who are hurting!

The ultimate cry and ultimate goal of freedom speaks in every word of this superbly written collection of poetry by Dr. Xhemil Bytyçi.

As the title of the poem itself suggests, GAME OF SHADOWS is an ethereal play of excellent puns and expressions that touch and move you, appeal to your senses and make you think deeply.

I also wish to add here that, as poem after poem amply demonstrates in “GAME OF SHADOWS”, the struggle for freedom has been fought hard by the Albanian people through their sweat and blood and sacrificing lives for the greater cause. of a nation’s independence.

On the amphora the voice threads calamity

Made of massacred words and seedlings

And so calamity is predicted

Above the throat of the amphora, holding a fist

The winds blow inside the amphora

With a dark moan from within

Calamity builds them for the people

Amphoras groan for calamity in return…

(Page 79 – Amphora of Calamity)

“GAME OF SHADOWS” by Dr. Xhemil Bytyçi is a book I would recommend to all libraries and English literature students to learn the art and craft of poetic writing. In fact, it is a book worthy of being prescribed for study in the curriculum of students of English literature.

The biography of Dr. Xhemil Bytyçi provided as part of the bibliography at the end of this collection of poetry speaks volumes about his achievements as a poet and a physician.

I wish Dr. Xhemil Bytyçi’s sensitive and poignant poetry collection “GAME OF SHADOWS” a very wide reach and readership, as I believe that such a collection of poetry should go far and continue to impact the whole world. literature. world!

*Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy, formerly a senior banker and urban governance consultant, is currently an award-winning poet, writer, editor and critic. She is President of Connecting Across Borders (CAB) and Vice President of Poetry India International. Her debut collection of poetry “P-EN-CHANTS” was recognized by India Book of Records for her unpublished film reviews and management topics in rhyming poetry. Paddy has just published his collection of poetry “P-EN-CHANTS…Again”. A recipient of multiple awards, Paddy has compiled and edited 6 international multilingual poetry anthologies including “Amaravati Poetic Prism” 2016 to 2019 was recognized by Limca Book of Records (Published by Coca Cola India) as “Poetry Anthology in Most Languages”. She also compiled and edited “WWW – Women, Wit & Wisdom”, an international anthology of multilingual poetry by women poets. She has been a guest editor of Setu, the Pittsburgh-based e-zine for their women-focused March editions since 2019. Paddy’s award-winning poetry articles and short stories have appeared in several international anthologies , print magazines, e-zines and newspapers.


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