We are serialising Tatjana’s new book, Perfection, in three languages, Serbian and Japanese, other than English, exclusively for Different Truths.
Close to Me
We are lost while leaving ourselves.
It’s too late for finding symbols.
The expression is a form of research
At the entrance of voice ventricles.
We sacrifice slow reasons to the quick words.
Parting is a chronicler with no chronicles.
Interpretations are hinted in the meanings of values.
Let’s not torture the lions with the inner space of the sky.
We have lost the gemstone.
The search is wasted effort.
We nurture the faith of case circumstances.
Cheek shows the traces of palms.
For too long we dream the threats of responsibility.
Ironic solution of doubting we have left for the end.
We demise traces for the orphans.
God was praised, unfortunately.
From the scriptures, we take out when needed.
We did not realize that all are prone to cease.
And a deep gap between the kisses,
We did not admit.
(The 25th contest for the best love song, traditionally held by the Cultural centre in Ivanjica. The contest director is a poet Miljan Despotovic).
Life in Creation
‘In reality, everything is on’ and one world wrote Béla Hamvas in an essay on poetry. Poetry arises from what it is, and it is what is in the perception of the poet. It is managed by the creator and it pronounces his thoughts, so isn’t it one?! And closeness is one, though everyone has their own closeness, that’s just closeness. It is established with someone dear, both in life and in poetry. Establishing closeness is finding the way to perfection. And is perfection achievable?
That is the theme the poet Tatjana Debeljacki1 wrote in her collection of poems entitled Perfection2, which opens with the poem, To Someone Close to Me 3 removing every, even the biological “gap between”, because poetry does not see the experience separately, in terms of poetry it is unique, a unique reality that it creates for itself. Everyone, of course, sees the “morning golden on the horizon” in the same way, which is what the Japanese Mountaineer from the Land of the Rising Sun, the land symbolised by the Sun, the light, and hope of this poet, says – everything far away from her is close to her, and she sees.
In the poetry of Tatjana Debeljacki, the light of the Japanese Lamps is noticeable and her poetic experiences with this reality are associated with the correspondence with the poet from another culture, from which a whole series of poems on Japanese themes emerges. The Second Letter from Japan says:
I wrote a poem
For the first and last time
The most beautiful poem
You and I
But, let’s get back to the inner Japanese Lantern, this “magnetic attraction” of feelings, which like “the lyre of heavenly sound” somewhere in Zen, to a large extent excitingly calm, transmits “silky threads of touch”. She, On the Road to Japan, shows that she can travel and attend the scene of “double shadows that dance” and one of which is Him, without ever leaving the work table. The poet has the power to knit “dreams from colour to the word” (Japan in April) and gives life to a new reality because each end is the same. Life, according to her, is an ordinary Japanese Cat so that even when you throw it upside down, it lands on its feet. From the poetic Wisdom of Insomnia, the poet thrives philosophically to “hear (…) how the ripple of the sea grows”, which is the symbol of the adventure to understand the Japanese Spirit of the experience and the scene of leaving a kiss in the place of Adam’s apple. Here love is not only an illusion, it is sometimes life on the other side of the feeling, and the poet thus attains personal perfection in the cruelty of imperfect nature.
Perfection as something that is under constant suspicion is the title of this book. The poet, through this headline, leads a “battle of frightened thoughts.” But fear has been overcome by what is “inevitable and predictable” because life and behavior in it go with the desire for perfection born when we are born. 4 The poet accepts “to represent Him before God,” advocating the “ordinary creative mind”. Coming to the stage of literary omnipotent elevation, she truly recognises perfection by receiving “a message of closeness from a distance”. The energy invested is somewhat doubled, there is something that cannot only be searched for, but needs also to be made and created; life passes anyway, says Tatjana Debeljacki: “Life is lost in search, consumed in creation” (Feather). Life “spent” in the creation of poetry is only an extension of the duration of the poet, and this is a “book that speaks volumes” about this idea.
The poet is not deprived of her own problems which often give birth to poems (Love and Damnation, Mother), having understanding for the mother of care, saying that “the sun is struggling to go out, even the one in the chest” within us. All this proves that a man is not the master of his will, but the will of the master must be obeyed till the end. This is one of the important pages and our personal scroll (book). But the book is being filled in every single moment. Can we read and understand that “they warn us everywhere how to use the moment that is there to establish and persuade the impulses of time? Don’t we become ridiculous if we go against the moments dictated by time in our lives?”5
Our poet, therefore, reveals the Eternity of the written love in her eyes, her new but also the distant pensive eyes, and concludes: “How complex simple love is!” And nothing is simple, nothing fades. The only thing that fades is a lie that “reminds imagination with the freshness of truth”. So much for the reason for which we put all the things in poetry into place, even the unpleasant ones that cannot be excluded from experience. Only then, and Tatjana succeeded in achieving that in her book of the same title, can perfection be poetically understood in an imperfect reality. Poetry has found that love is the one that “imposes new forms on the wind”. It is a balm applied by reading, and Italo Calvino said that what is being read is always in the making, so this poetry always re-emerges with every reading, and rich thought content keeps the attention of the reader.
What, along with the biography of the poet, is accepted as a special feeling of strength in the singularity of poetic writing, “the magic of the journey/to inner harmony.” The poet does not give up anything that belongs to her in the sense of perception and understanding, she bravely writes verses of her invincible craving. The verse brings hope and faith as well as a clear awareness of the path that begins and ends with us.
This poetry fulfills its creative task and enters a new era of its own duration.
That’s where perfection lies.
(To be continued)
1) Pozega, 6 February 2018
2) Tatjana Debeljacki: ‘Perfection’, Cultural Centre, Ivanjicа, 2018.
3) With her poem ‘Closeness’, Tatjana won the first prize at the love poem literary contest ‘Ripples of the Moravica’ in Ivanjica, 2017. In the explanation (as a member of the competition jury) I wrote: From the poetic letter “The Close One” in which everything speaks of love without ever mentioning this word directly, we open up thoughts, a series of special lessons and wisdom, with a message that loving others means loving oneself and “losing oneself from leaving oneself”. The poem consists of twenty thoughts, classic aphorisms, each of which could be a motto of a new poem. Love is here in a dilemma over what “is prone to transience”, it is what is needed to overcome the “gap between kisses”.
4) Alfred Adler thought that ‘pursuance of perfection is hereditary’.
5) Milo Lompar: ‘An Ode to Nonmodernity’, Laguna, Belgrade, 2016. p.35.
Tatjana Debeljacki (Titovo Uzice, 19) writes contemporary and Haiku poetry and prose. She has published nine books. She lives in Uzice.
Photos from the Internet
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Tatjana Debeljacki writes poems, short stories, stories, and haiku. She is a member of the Association of Writers of Serbia, UKS, since 2004. She is in the Haiku Society of Serbia; is the deputy editor of ‘Diogen’, and editor of the magazine, ‘Poeta’.