serbian poets

A Letter to a Friend, by Branko Miljković.

“Dear friend,

I don’t know why, but I want to explain to you the essence of my failure from which I shall never again recuperate. First of all, you must know that my misery is not some simple love ache. Or rather, it is, if we understand my love as Eros in Espinoza’s sense. That woman wasn’t merely my lover. She was the first and foremost need of my soul. She was also my spiritual protector and my shelter. She was my protective shield from the metaphysical frost. Without Her I am directly and completely exposed to the nonsense of the Universe and the night. My loneliness is now absolute. There is no realm of pure meaning and poetry for me any more. My poems want my head now. There is no one to reconciliate me with them any more. She was the only one who knew how. Only, she didn’t know that she does. With her, the most dangerous thoughts would turn into beautiful and harmless metaphors. Now, all that is raging and mercilessly charging at me. If only I could run away from what I said! I live in terrible fear. I fear to speak, to write. Each word could be the death of me. Most of poems that I wrote, I wrote before I loved Her, but only with Her, have I become the poet, that is, the one who is not affected by what he sings about, the one who has privileged position regarding to what he says. My poetry is losing every meaning now and turning into my worst enemy. Maybe I would have become a real poet if that wonderful woman had stayed with me. This way, I am the one who played with fire and burned to ashes. Defeat can not be a triumph, no matter how grand it is. By losing Her, I lost both my strength and my gift. I can not write anymore. There is only misery left that can not create anything but more misery. Do you remember, dear friend, that I wrote the verse : "One unhappy man can not be a poet”. Only now I see how true that is. I will try to live on, though I am dead more than all the dead combined. This terrible suffering is the last piece of humanity in me. If I outlive it, don’t expect anything good from me. But I don’t think I will.

Wishing you all the best

Branko

P.S.
If you wish to write to me, write about Her. Anything. Not in reference with me. What does she eat, if she’s sleeping well, if she’s having cold etc.; You could know all this. Every detail about her is priceless to me. If I stop thinking about Her, I will start thinking about death.

It is midnight. Goodbye.

Branko"