“Uzalud je budim — In vain I wake her…”

“Uzalud je budim — In vain I wake her”

This is my response to the latest Weekly Writing Challenge by The Daily Post at WordPress.

My response is an attempt to illustrate the beautiful words of a poem penned in 1956 by Branko Miljković with images from belgradestreets.

Words introduced to me today.

I am told the words are more beautiful in their original form, they are reproduced at the end of this post.

The words are an English translation by Nicholas Cobic.

Branko Miljković was born in 1934 in Niš.

He died in tragic circumstances in Zagreb in 1961.

“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”


Original text

Uzalud Je Budim

“Budim je zbog sunca koje objašnjava sebe biljkama
zbog neba razapetog između prstiju
budim je zbog reči koje peku grlo
volim je ušima
treba ići do kraja sveta i naći rosu na travi
budim je zbog dalekih stvari koje liče na ove
zbog ljudi koji bez čela i imena prolaze ulicom
zbog anonimnih reči trgova budim je zbog manufakturnih pejzaža javnih parkova
budim je zbog ove naše planete koja će možda
biti mina u raskrvavljenom nebu
zbog osmeha u kamenu drugova zaspalih između
dve bitke
kada nebo nije bilo više veliki kavez za ptice
nego aerodrom
moja ljubav puna drugih je deo zore
budim je zbog zore zbog ljubavi zbog sebe zbog
budim je mada je to uzaludnije negoli dozivati
pticu zauvek sletelu
sigurno je rekla: neka me traži i vidi da me
ta žena sa rukama deteta koju volim
to dete zaspalo ne obrisavši suze koje budim
uzalud uzalud uzalud
uzalud je budim
jer će se probuditi drukčija i nova
uzalud je budim
jer njena usta neće moći da joj kažu
uzalud je budim
ti znaš da voda protiče ali ne kaže ništa
uzalud je budim
treba obećati izgubljenom imenu nečije lice
u pesku
ako nije tako odsecite mi ruke
i pretvorite me u kamen”

7 thoughts on ““Uzalud je budim — In vain I wake her…”

  1. This is absolutely exquisite. What an amazing poem. I’ve long wanted to learn Serbian but this makes me quite determined. Your photos, his words, what a match.

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