Quotations From SASA MILIVOJEV


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  • 'Saša Milivojev transforms his affinity for different forms of artistic expression into verses with skilful precision, amazing us with his musicality, picturesqueness, and the multiple meanings of each chosen word. The modern expression and structural complexity of his verses make him one of the most gifted poets...'
    Spasoje Ž. Milovanović, dramatist
  • 'Of all artists, I have always loved poets the most, not because they have dedicated their poems to me, but because a poet is an intermediary between God and people. The poetry of Saša Milivojev is very unusual; it extends through several dimensions and stimulates some new senses in the reader. He communicates with abstract worlds in which he finds his peace. Because of his unrequited love - a love he gives unconditionally, he runs away finding refuge in various religions. He communicates with the universe, nature, and people leaving, whom he sees through his 'dirty windows'. He communicates with fairies, Allah, and almighty gods who have bestowed upon him the gift of a lonesome healer. Nine/Evening/A bright speck soars/Darkness from the sky/The spinning of a wedding dance. I read once that a firefly is programmed by nature to shine at nine oclock in the evening only. Sašas poem depicts the spinning of a wedding dance and a multitude of those bright specks moving in the dark. To me, it looks like the eternal floating of celestial bodies.'
    Danica Aćimac, actress
  • 'I have been acting for so many years that I cannot even remember all the poems I have read on various poets' nights. I do not even remember when was the last time I had stage freight as I did at the promotion of the book by Saša Milivojev 'The Secret behind a Sigh'. It was primarily because of his very mature, serious and philosophical poetry, and on the other hand, I was not indifferent when I saw the audience - the Ethnographic Museum was full. No one would expect that a twenty-year-old Serbian poet could draw such attention from a Belgrade audience.'
    Zlata Numanagić, actress - RTS TV, Belgrade,20.10.2006.
  • 'When I walk into a bookstore I do not look for books by famous authors who have already proved themselves in the belles-lettres. I usually pay attention to new names and books that have appeared quietly, without any pomp. All those books have different fates that are entwined with our lives. On the floor below a book shelf I saw a book with a cover of an angel writing verses in his own blood. I lifted the book, wiping the dust off it. The book was by a Saša Milivojev. I glanced through a couple of symbolic verses full of dramatic conflicts of the lyric subject and a dark picture of the world. It was enough for me to buy the book and take it home, hoping that I would find a ray of light in it, but I was disappointed with the lyrical exaggerations. However, when I turned the last page of the book, I realised that the author was very young and forgave him right away. More than two years later, he called me saying that he wanted me to hear his poems. He read a couple of poems that took my breath away. I saw a firefly that was gone and moved away from him like 'The light speck/And the shore remains deserted, ' the shore on which the young poet was carrying the light in his hands and had the role of a healer.'
    Olja Ivanjicki, painter
  • 'He is unusually mature for his age; associational and deeply emotional He can soar into the heights, and descend carefully, when appropriate. Saša Milivojev is in love with poetry and beauty, unorthodox and uncatchable...'
    Žiža Stojanović, actress
  • 'I have a feeling that I have already seen what Saša Milivojev wrote in his poems, and I am trying to convince myself that 'that has always slept deep inside me.'
    Ljubomir Kokotović, painter
  • When I first saw a photograph of Saša Milivojev in a newspaper, my lips spontaneously whispered: Tadzio! It was a reaction to his angelic beauty of the kind that once mesmerised me when I read Death in Venice as part of the preparation of a paper entitled The Novellas of Thomas Mann at the World Literature Department of the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade.

    The Hellenic, Apollonian beauty of the young Pole that I recognised on his face, is often unaware of itself. It belongs to the kind so agonisingly loved by Thomas Mann, to those blue-eyed and simple creatures that need no spirit. It also conforms to Schiller's principle of the naïve, as opposed to the sentimental, which separates itself from life, contemplates, writes poems and falls while dancing.

    As I continue, I turn to Tonio Kröger, the novella in which Thomas Mann describes his poetics - i.e. his relationship with art - most picturesquely. The Tadzio of Saša Milivojev melts into the character of Hans Hansen, another of those blue-eyed boys that enjoy every moment, deeply emerged in life, favoured, fitting into the whole. Then I read the interview, a couple of columns and a few poems by this young man - still more of a boy than a man - and I realised that I had finally found an answer that remained lingering above my study paper: What would have happened if Hans Hansen had humoured Tonio Kröger and read Don Carlos? Now I know - he would have become Saša Milivojev. This beautiful, young, talented poet is actually a reincarnation of Kröger's biggest desire. He is a Hans Hansen who has read Don Carlos. Well-educated, ambitious, diligent, brimming with ideas, courageous and eloquent in his columns, vulnerable and frighteningly lonesome in his labyrinth, from which a small firefly, the carrier of divine light, will rescue him like Ariadne's thread. When the firefly is gone and darkness settles in, the embers will remain on the poet's hands like stardust or heavenly fire, empowering those hands to heal the wounds of this world by writing poetry and transmitting the healing energy into those who read it. In this 'Giant Boy', as the famous sculptor and poet Boris Staparac named Saša, The Naïve and the Sentimental have merged perfectly, as perfectly as yin and yang, water and fire, light and darkness. Behind this angelic blue-eyed Tadzio hides an uncompromising, brave and articulate columnist and writer of the novel about the Yellow House: 'I fall with the rain, courage is urging me to say to the people, NO' - and also a gentle, vulnerable poet who, free from the desire for commercial success, carries his firefly (an embodiment of his guiding star) and seeks from all the gods the answer of all answers: What is the meaning of our existence?

    'Like haiku verses, the small, icy crystals of his poetry are condensed and reduced to the smallest number of words necessary to express the essence; slowly melting and dying in the heat of his dream of the desert, they lead us to endlessness, to the wandering stars, to the Fake Tears of the Moon, to questioning all the gods that preach about Love, gods who should finally become one, the all-seeing eye of the Universal Mind.

    Saša Milivojev has evolved into one of the most inventive poets in the world! Besides impressionist moments, such as the firefly leaving and parting the Light from Dark, his new book speaks of the emergence of the fifth ice age. His lyrical subject travels through time, living all the disasters of the Planet Earth, from volcanic eruptions: Who protects you / From the burning rain / Now that you are gone, and the Sun melting away, to continental plates moving, deluges, global warming, poles melting, to Waves crashing and Towns sinking; Black mountains are crumbling / The locusts hiss all round / Gnawed bones / Float soaked', and so on until the ultimate apocalypse and ice age. The collection entitled When the Firefly is Gone assumes prophetic proportions when pictures of drowning continents assail the reader's mind. Africa is the last to sink, the water level rising over the tips of the pyramids, after which An endless plate of ice will be created; a camel will carry the lyrical subject as the victor, not unlike the epic heroes of old Arabic literature, but this time the camel Stumbles over the tips of the pyramids …

    Finally, I would like to address Saša personally and give him my motherly support, as he is an encouraging young face of future Serbia, despite all the cowards, all the indifferent mediocrities, and all Soros's payees: I whish you all the best, my beautiful boy! You have a heavy burden to bear on your shoulders. I see that some have already started accusing you of manipulation and ambition, saying that, by choosing the topic for this book, you want to achieve instant success regardless of the risks the topic may bear. Hang in there, fight and move forward. Many will hate you for your beauty, but I can see the sign on your forehead, the one written in invisible ink. Work hard and your dream will come true. I bow before the hardships and suffering you will have to endure; I bow like Zosima the elder bowed before Mitya Karamazov. I am with you, my little Tadzio!

    THE SON OF THE SOUL

    In the wake of creation
    While I trod barefoot
    Over the seething stars
    My soul begot you
    My son.
    It lost you and sought you
    Writing your name in milk
    In the sand.
    Screaming like Lilith for her baby
    Speaking of you to God
    Amidst the desert.
    Through the mazes of cosmos
    And the shrieks of dying suns
    I descended into time
    To bring you back.
    Following the beat of computer bytes
    Under a sea of websites
    I found you.
    On a young body
    The mark on the forehead
    Revealed you.
    I will stay with you
    And accept mortality
    So I can follow you.
    Those who love I will protect
    Those who hate I will crush
    Those who touch you I will kill
    My son.
    Just whisper my name.

    Daliborka Stojšić
    Daliborka Stojšić - artist and ex-Miss of the former Yugoslavia
  • I had a chance to meet Saša Milivojev, a young poet, and to read his first book while it was still in the manuscript. He wanted to hear my opinion about his work, and I told him the following: 'No, I am not a judge, God forbid, God forbid.'
    I felt that there was something sincere in his poetry and asked him: 'Saša, what would you like to be in life, but tell me honestly? ' - We were at my place...
    He told me: 'I want to be a poet.'
    Oh, Mother of Crhist! I sat with my head buried in my hands... Hey! In Serbia! ? To be a poet in yesterdays and todays?
    I carefully listened to him reading... We cannot do anything else but support him. That would cost us nothing. We are all familiar with Miljković and his quote: 'Killed by Too Powerful a Word'. - He ended his life in a toilet in Zagreb, running away from Belgrade. I guess that we have had enough of killing poets in Serbia at the very beginning of their career. There is something in it; we have felt something. Let us never remove from the scene the poets, actors, artists, shoemakers, or anyone who has a heart and soul. Let all of them stay on their stage.
    Rada Saratlić - writer, journalist
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