Title is from Branko Miljkovic poem ” In vane I wake her”
Sometime ago I had a talk what is more important than love? That is the question we in our civilisation ask ourselves and others many times. We see love as universal feeling not measurable by anything. So how comes that something can be more important than love?! And then it came as pure magic! A simple passionate French kiss. The kiss that has power to awake you, giving you the awareness that pure love is possible and to boost your love for love and life.
As in couple of months there will be an anniversary of Serbian poet Branko Miljkovic leaving this world I decided to write an article about him, mentioning also another Romantic Mihai Eminescu and Yesenin and Mayakovsky. Maybe, if they had that passionate French kiss experience they would walk the roads of our Earth longer! The writer of this words had it! It gave infinite energy to cope with life and to see it from completely different perspective.
If you think that Veronica Micle was somehow a great disappointment for Mihai Eminescu who even wanted to trade immortality just for one kiss ( from Veronica off course) let me introduce to you Branko Miljkovic Serbian poet who commit, so they say, suicide ( found hanging from a tree).
He joined Yesenin who committed suicide (so they say) and another one of his favourite poets, he translated to Serbian language, Vladimir Mayakovsky who also committed suicide (so they confirmed).
Branko Miljkovic was born 29th of January 1934 and died in the night between 12/13th of February 1961. He was 27 years old.
He wrote an epitaph in his collection ORIGIN OF HOPE !!!! which says
“Killed by a too powerful word”.
Many are analysing who, why, how and what happened, trying to define Branko Miljkovic among other magicianc of our “modern” world, forgeting statement of Oscar Wild that “to define is to limit”.
I am writing this article just as Branko wrote “In Vain I wake Her” ! No preparations, no second, third thoughts . Just translating passion to words. And adding more of it after some time!
Well Branko Miljkovic, his poems and esseys were “planted” in me and my generation some decades ago so it is easy to translate the passion and present it here, even in Englsh.
Here I will concentrate on one point, like with Eminescu and Chopin and Petofi( the article is being prepared as it will be together with Nusic and Eminescu)and all the others having that ingredient in tremendous quantity ! PASSION ! PASSION in all we do!
PASSION! Passion is the ingredient which is fighting all kind of depressions but if not used in the right dosage can kill you! It is our choice.
Branko Miljkovic had PASSION in all he was doing !
When drunk he showed , apart from being aggressive that he was again VERY PASSIONATE!
There is a story. After a few drinks he started shouting in the pub full of people : ” We demand freedom for our whorehouses! You dirty little communists have taken away our whorehouses! We want freedom! Who will have the courage to fight me you cowards?!”
“In Vain I Wake Her” he wrote , as they say, when he visited neighbours house in his home town of Nis and saw a picture of his friend’s dead sister. Instantly he felt in love with the dead girl and wrote most admirable verses in her honour. It was a victory over poet and life, as he said. Instantly it was but it was slowly slowly growing in Brankos soul. It looks like that we keep feelings inside of us awaiting the right moment to erupt as an earthquake, having lava, that tremendous lava translated to words and presented to the world. This is how this poem was born. And definitely many others.
Here is the whole poem for you dear readers to enjoy !
In Vain I Wake Her
“I wake her for the sun that explains itself in plants
For sky stretched between the fingers
I wake her for words that burn my throat
I love her with my ears.
End of the world should be reached and drops of dew found in grass.
I wake her for some distant things that look like these here,
For people who, without forehead or name, go along the street,
For anonymous words, for squares I wake her,
For manufactured landscapes of public parks.
I wake her for this planet of ours which may become a mine In bloodshed sky
For smiles in stones, friends fallen asleep between two battles
When sky was no longer a big birdcage but An airport
My love full of others is a part of dawn,
I wake her for the dawn, for love, for myself, for others,
I wake her, even if it is more in vain than to call a bird
That landed forever
She must have said: let him look for me and see that I am gone
That woman with the hands of a child that I love
That child fallen asleep with tears still not wiped, which I wake In vain
in vain in vain In vain
I wake her
For she will wake up different and new
In vain I wake her
For her mouth will not be able to tell
In vain I wake her
You know the water runs through but says nothing
In vain I wake her
A lost name should be promised someone’s face in sand
If this is not so
Cut off my arms and turn me into stone”
Translated by Milanović, Aleksandra
Uh ! Emotional and very passionate !
In his letter to a friend which you will have a pleasure to read below he presented us with more PASSION ! And desire and love! That is the purpose of our life ! This is what we are living for!
As Robin Williams said ” Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits , and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” Addition can be made mentioning French kiss also!
And letter goes…
“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.
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”
(Translated by Aleksandra Milanović)
Pasion, pain, love !!!!
Is it worth dying for? It is definitely worthy living for! And be patient as it takes time to discover, build and digest all! And love, and passion and pain! And kiss! Or “just” simple hug!
First published in November 2018 and now 11/12/2019 republished with more of thoughts about love, pain, kiss, passion.
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