6 – an introduction

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Poster at the exhibit about the life and work of Branko Miljković, reading: National Museum of Niš, Exhibit, Branko Miljković, poetry as destiny, poet’s signature. (photo taken by me, December 30 2011.)

ENGLISH

Those who know me also know that Branko Miljković is my dearest Serbian poet. Those who know me a little better also know that, to me, Branko Miljković is even more than that. He is part of my everyday life, an integral part of my existence, an inseparable constituent of who I am, and someone I love as if he were alive to this day (dead poets don’t exist for me, anyway). At the same time, this poet – who ended his journey in this world before turning 27 – is a poet I don’t read every day. It is dangerous. Just like any other meeting of the souls.

One of his most famous poems is THE ANGEL OF ARILJE, and, according to some, it is his greatest achievement. That I do not know. I know that the day I stood at the very same place and pondered this fresco – as Branko did before me – became an indelible and continuous movement of my soul. I saw it on December 5 2015, in the Church of saint Achilles, in Arilje (Serbia).

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SERBIAN

Oni koji me poznaju, znaju i to da je Branko Miljković moj najdraži srpski pesnik. Oni koji me malo bolje poznaju, znaju i to da je Branko Miljković za mene i više od toga. On je deo moje svakodnevnice, integralni deo mog postojanja, neodvojivi deo osobe koja jesam i neko koga volim kao da je i danas živ (a za mene, inače, ne postoji mrtav pesnik). Istovremeno, taj pesnik koji je svoj ovozemaljski put završio pre dvadesetsedmog rodjendana, jeste pesnik kojeg ne čitam svaki dan. Opasno je. Kao i svaki susret duša.

Jedna od njegovih najpoznatijih pesama jeste ARILJSKI ANDJEO,  a prema nekima i njegovo najveće dostignuće. To ne znam. Znam da je dan kada sam stajala na istom mestu i posmatrala ovu fresku, kao što je Branko pre mene, postao neizbrisivi pokret duše koji ne prestaje. Videla sam ga petog decembra 2015 u Arilju, u crkvi svetog Ahilija.

 

5

20170319_221445.jpgThere are two ways of spreading the light: To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

I believe poets are both the candle and the mirror.

4

Pesnik čeka uvek, i kada je veliki, pomoć od nas; treba znati, treba biti svestan tog fenomena, koji može i da nas prestraši: koliko je pesnik detinje nemoćan, koliko je on od nas zavisan. Uvek smo mi stariji od pesnika.

A poet, even a grand one, always awaits help from us;  one should know and be conscious of this phenomenon, which may even frighten us: of the extent to which a poet is childishly powerless and dependent upon us. We are always older than the poet.

Radomir Konstantinović, philosopher/poet/writer