Sunday, 30 October 2011

What's Your Memory of Milorad?

Photo by John Dolan
We all have our own memories of Misho - friend, poet, teacher, colleague. Why not share one of your memories with us?

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I first met Misho in September '99 at the MAC. Martin introduced us. We were all there to see a film, Midsummer Night's Dream with Kevin Cline (not a great movie as it turned out). We had a coffee together and Misho offered me a poem to read, as he often did when meeting new people. The poem moved me so deeply I couldn't respond. 'Now let the expert comment,' said Misho rather archly I felt, taking the poem from me and handing it to Martin. But for me, the world had already changed. Utterly, you might say. I started writing after that and poetry (not just the writing - the way of perceiving the world) was the foundation, the bed-rock of our mutual understanding and friendship. The poem? 'Solo'. [I'll find a copy and add it]

1 comment:

  1. I met Milorad in 2004. He was sitting beside me at the Royal Festival Hall at Poetry International. As we chatted we discovered that we were both poets and would both be publishing books shortly. He suggested we swap addresses and send each other our collections. I remember his kindess, and sense of camaraderie so clearly. And yet, with time and travel and youthful selfishness, I don't know if I ever sent him that first book. I know we exchanged brief emails, and then I didn't think of him for a long while. Two years ago perhaps, a book arrived for me at my address in Suffolk. My mum rang and told me the title and the name, but I couldn't place them. It bothered me off and on for a while, but I couldn't connect the words with the man I met. When I was at home last April, I came across the book in a drawer and sat down to read it. I was astonished; here was a real poet. The poems were incisive, beautiful and genuine. And they spoke to an alienation I had begun to feel as an emigrée. When I reread the author's name, I finally connected it with the kind man I'd sat next to in 2004. I vowed to email him to tell him what I thought of his work. I made a note. I went back to Italy. Life carried on. And then, I came across the news of his death. I felt terrible. I'd left it too late. There's no doubt in my mind that an exceptional man and poet crossed my path. I wish I had told him.