Lesson for Others
People are dead not mortal
the Sun will pass through our eyes, too, unaltered.
Branko Miljković / loosely interpreted by me
Pouka za ostale
Ljudi su mrtvi a ne smrtni sunce će
proći i kroz naše oči neizmenjeno.
AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
And if you can’t shape your life
the way you want,
at least try as much as you can
not to degrade it by dragging
by too much contact with the world,
by too much activity and talk.
Try not to degrade it by dragging
taking it around and exposing it so
to the daily silliness
of social events and parties,
until it comes to seem a a boring
C. Cavafy, 1913 (translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrard)
This has got to be poetry.
It is comforting to be the earth.
It is proud be a stone.
It is ever wise to be the fire.
It is pious to be nothing.
Branko Miljković (translated by me from Weary Poem)
Utešno je biti zemlja.
Ponosno je biti kamen.
Premudro je biti vatra.
Pobožno je biti ništa.
Branko Miljković (iz Zamorene pesme)
Do you know, I would quietly
slip from the loud circle,
when first I know the pale
stars above the oaks
Ways I will elect
that seldom any tread
in pale evening meadows–
and no dream but this:
You come too.
Rainer Maria Rilke, from the First Poems
translated by M.D. Herter Norton
An orbit in slant?
I loathe your need
To inhabit this line,
No different are you
From the rotation
That cuts the grass.
My blood is my path to you.
(translated by me)
Moja je krv moj put do tebe.
I have stretched ropes from steeple to steeple; garlands from window to window; golden chains from star to star, and I dance.
The world is empty with consolers and managers.
And, yet, we are all water.
“Only water can endow complete solitude
akin to the stars akin to the silence of dismantled skies
to scorch time to fill rubies
and to create the past out of that which has not arrived yet
it can impersonate all that is not and be a wall
but it cannot imitate itself
it is quite simple in that regard
it is the stock of dreams and deaths and all possible
(from the poem “Ode to Water” by Branko Miljković, translated by me)