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Nenad Valentin Borozan: »Čekanje blizine. Rukovet za Zlatku Frajzman« (Waiting for the Nearness. A Handful for Zlatka Frajzman)

Nenad Valentin Borozan went to the other world, where every man goes. Words are left behind him. Friends gathered them and made the book of them. True, he himself gave the title to the book, but not the form. If he had lived a bit longer, it would certainly appear differently. Now, we have his idea, and his friends trying to interpret his idea. Did they act well?

Borozan is a poet characterised by the hermetic style of writing. His verses are short, brief, filled with meanings. Not with some distorted meanings, but with the profound understanding of things that surround us, their warmth or nearness — to use Borozan’s vocabulary from this collection. Certain individuals, having nothing to say for themselves, look away his dignity with their meaningless prattle, their attempt to hide themselves. However, poetry in fact reveals us, draws the deepest thoughts from us and places them in front of another. Borozan knows and respects that. On the other hand, the others know that, so they respect his poetry.

One of characteristics of Borozan’s poetry is that he writes question marks. He starts from one idea, one image, and then through question marks begins to reveal its richness, that is, to question a reader’s way of thinking. This collection, published after his death, is filled with such question marks. Those are the question marks about the innermost meaning of life. For Borozan, life is not the time to act irresponsibly, but the time during which we are giving answers to ourselves on the most profound questions. Thus, his style of writing poetry gains a touch of morality, about which contemporary aestheticists often do not wish to speak. However, is it possible to create good literature without morality? Let us ask ourselves this question and let us try to answer it. Borozan, for himself, has answered that question with his own way of writing. We should pay no attention to the thinkers from the field of aesthetics much noised about. Let us think for ourselves. Today, what is famous usually is not true. Even Borozan paid no attention to them. He created his own separate world.

Each of us formes many acquaintances during life. Only some of them became nearness. About one such nearness from his life Borozan wrote every day, in every poem. He was not given the opportunity to conclude his work, but nevertheless he has left us a good literary reading. He started with the poetic prose, and continued with poems dedicated always to one and the same person. In such way, he tried to firm his original idea: to bring nearness to the person dear to him. He did it in harmony with his human and poetic feelings. One does not overcome the other. It proves us once more that he was at the peak of his creating forces, that he has left us too soon. But, we can do nothing about it — except to shed light on his path in this world, in order to make it a good model for somebody else’s similar path.

In poems dedicated to Zlatka Frajzman, as well as in poets his friends found among his things, the same heart is beating: lyrics of one gentle soul. He pauses in front of the scene of hands immersing into the sea (Slovo od mora/ Letter of the Sea), in front of the scene of a town reflecting in the sea (Nespokojan dar/ The Restless Gift), in front of the scene of a tree (Privid i žal/ Illusion and Sorrow), in front of the scene of ephemerality (Zrno i krinka/ The Grain and the Mask), in front of the scene of... We could list numerous other things, but what would be the point? Borozan is a poet of things seemingly small, yet so important in our lives, who knows how to smile to them, to recognise the true meaning hidden in them, knows how to live. Namely, great truths only seem small. They are overflowing with the abundance, and not with empty noise, and such truths create the illusion of the ordinary on the surface seen by the observer: »pola mjeseca uhodi goru./ kamo će drvo, trava i/ voda. ako im ponudiš/ pjesmu, što će ostati« (spying on the mountain for half a month./ where will tree, grass and/ water go. if you offer them/ a song, what will be left) — Čekanje blizine (Waiting for the Nearness).

Who is near to whom? It can not be measured by the spatial distance, but by the distance of hearts. This collection also proves it. It appears as the sign of nearness of some to Borozan. If it was not so, who knows when these verses would be out in the open. Maybe just some diligent literary critic searching for new things from someone’s life would point to them, thus climbing one stair higher in this world. There is no harm in it, but it is even better when something like that is done because of the nearness. It gives special patina to the complete work. Namely, we are living in times when nearness mostly describes something spatial. We try to cross over as fast as possible, in order to subject it to us. Then come coldness and alienation. Everyone is uselessly talking about being brought together and the human progress. Without heart and emotions, everything is lost.

Therefore, we have answered that Borozan’s friends were right to decide and publish this new collection of his. We should hope that some day somebody would decide to publish, if not the complete works, than at least the selection of his works. Borozan deserves it. He spoke about many, why shouldn’t somebody speak about him? He has also received one of the most prestigious literary awards: the »Antun Branko Šimić« Award for poetry of the Croatian Writers’ Association of Herzeg Bosnia. The only question is how much does the politicised environment care for an award as such? And Borozan was happy to receive it, regardless of the prosaicness of the everyday life! Everything will pass, even those who are suppressing our language in the 21st century. Let us remember how much Borozan strived for it. He used to surprise us with words we have already placed in the farthest corner of our mind, influenced by the other way of speaking.

Borozan’s work left a particular trace in Croatian literature, and in Croatian journalism. We should not forget that segment of his work. He demonstrated to others how to be persistent and how to fight. Such teaching is exceptionally significant in these whirling times. They are taking our language away from us, they are prosecuting us because of our fight for self-perseverance and equality, what is next? Borozan would light his pipe and go on. Nobody can harm us if we do not wish it for ourselves. Therefore, it rests with writers to create good literature. Borozan did. That is the nearness, that is the question mark he has successfully answered.

Miljenko Stojić

• Publisher: Gral, Široki Brijeg 2004

• 133 pages

• UDK 821.163.42(497.6)-1D-004

Most (The Bridge), 1-2, Društvo hrvatskih književnika / The Croatian writers’ association, Zagreb, May 2005, page 72

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