15 dragging

20170807_130056AS 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

it along,

     by too much contact with the world,

     by too much activity and talk.


     Try not to degrade it by dragging 

it along,

     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)



8 water…


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)



(photo of the “Blue Angel” from the poem “The Angel of Arilje” by Branko Miljković, Church of st Achilles, taken by me)

three selected passages/sentences, preceding the poem:

There exists no triumph outside unhappiness.

It may be explained only by the waters that do not flow, that peaceful countenance when the fire and the action end, and crystallization begins.

This particular Angel, illuminated from within his being – were he in a desert, he would say: why would I need hope if I could not preserve this desert. Were he to descend from the wall, he would say: This is the space which extends love.


pesmi prethode sledeći odabrani delovi –

Ne postoji trijumf izvan nesreće.

To mogu da objasne samo vode koje ne teku, taj mirni lik kada prestaje vatra i zbivanje i počinje kristalizacija.

Ovaj konkretni Andjeo, osvetljen sobom iznutra, da je u pustinji rekao bi: šta će mi nada ako ne sačuvam ovu pustinju. Da sidje sa zida, rekao bi: Ovo je predeo koji produžuje ljubav.

6 – an introduction


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.)


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).



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.