Dejan Stojanovic – Ancient Roman Villa

Dejan Stojanovic, Picture

Dejan Stojanovic, Chicago, 1991

Here lies once splendid ancient Roman Villa in ruins. Remnants of a gorgeous mosaic—Venus and a flying dove on the floor—of big gardens, fountains and pools talk about her rich and lively history.

The Roman wealthy patrician did not think of us looking at the mosaic of his Villa. He built it for posterity, yet desired to live longer than his creation. He thought he could deceive the uncompromising ruler—time. Although there was no real stock market then, he had his own treasury; he thought the treasury will live longer even than his Villa to support his posterity—buy them power, fame.

We can almost hear and see the water that once sprinkled from fountains; hear giggles and secret stories shared in the gardens among his children and servants; we can imagine his demeanor at the extravagant parties he loved; bacchanalias in the secret rooms of the Villa.

Here lies the ancient Roman Villa in ruins and little is known of her once larger-than-life owner, and even less about his stock, treasury, and posterity.


Dejan Stojanovic – Task of a Poet

To hear never-heard sounds,
To see never-seen colors and shapes,
To try to understand the imperceptible
Power pervading the world;
To fly and find pure ethereal substances
That are not of matter
But of that invisible soul pervading reality.
To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul;
To be a lantern in the darkness
Or an umbrella in a stormy day;
To feel much more than know.
To be the eyes of an eagle, slope of a mountain;
To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon;
To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves;
To be an insignificant pedestrian on the streets
Of crazy cities watching, watching, and watching.
To be a smile on the face of a woman
And shine in her memory
As a moment saved without planning.


The Sun Watches Itself – Dejan Stojanovic

The Sun Watches Itself (Sunce sebe gleda), Dejan Stojanovic

The second collection of Dejan Stojanovic’s verse, “The Sun is Watching Itself,” is covered by a metaphysical and philosophical veil. Eleven segments are connected by these two abstract approaches and by such key images as a circle, suggesting infinity, and silence, reflecting space and eternity. The circle serves as a powerful symbol and a device of the perpetual in this poetry: “the end without endlessness is only a new beginning,” claims the poet. Thus, one of the poems bears the title “God and Circle,” symbolizing the perennial search for an exit and the eventual finding of one, which only leads into another circle and to continuous evolution. This prompts Stojanovic to pose the question “Is God himself a Circle?”–implying that God is endless and ever present.

Although concise, the poems convey in a powerful and specific manner messages from the triad circle-God-eternity, connected by man’s destiny and the poet’s concept of human life and origins, and of the universe itself. In other words, microcosmic observations lead to macrocosmic revelations and didactic conclusions. The poems seem to teach us what is obvious in the context of common sense, often surprisingly remote to the modern man.

In terms of style and format, the author has a coextensional approach; he uses relatively simple expressions and words in an interplay of brilliant meanings that bring about highly complex but easily readable structures. If elegance is represented by simplicity, then these are some of the most elegant verses imaginable; unadorned verses that are a source of beauty and wisdom.

Stojanovic’s perceptions of light and darkness, of fantasy and reality, of truth and falsehood present us with a circular format of infinity and resurrection.

The format has its logical beginning and end. “The Sun is Watching Itself” begins with poems dedicated to God and the universe, then descends from the metaphysical to the philosophical, focusing on more ordinary such us the symbolic meaning of a stone, a game, a place, silence, hopelessness, and the question “Is it possible to write a poem?” Stojanovic’s collection might well serve as an affirmative answer to this question. The poet has taken us on a long journey from God and universe to our everyday world. We all seem to be a part of a circle, says the author, searching for the eternal in the universe, only to realize the finality of life on earth. The poet’s message is doubly effective for its extraordinary, soul-searching content and its reflective, powerful language.

-Branko Mikasinovich, Washington, D.C.
WLT World Literature Today, A Literary Quarterly of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
Volume 74, Number 2, Page 442, Spring 2000


Dejan Stojanovic – Robert Frost

There is a word on the crossroad
That marks the open road ahead;
There is a song coming from the dark woods
Of growing cities, no less dangerous;

There is a huge family riding on horses,
Travelling different roads,
Exploring and learning after
Why one was better than another.

A word sent to open the road
Makes that road a singing road;
The road, choosing the rider;
The song, becoming the ride.

Unchained Melody – Being Late by Dejan Stojanovic

From where do simplicity and ease
In the movement of heavenly bodies derive?
It is precision.
Sun is never late to rise upon the Earth,
Moon is never late to cause the tides,
Earth is never late to greet the Sun and the Moon;
Thus accidents are not accidents
But precise arrivals at the wrong right time.
Love is almost never simple;
Too often, feelings arrive too soon,
Waiting for thoughts that often come too late.
I wanted too, to be simple and precise
Like the Sun,
Like the Moon,
Like the Earth
But the Earth was booked
Billions of years in advance;
Designed to meet all desires,
All arrivals, all sunrises, all sunsets,
All departures,
So I will have to be a little bit late.

Dejan Stojanovic – The Strange Love Song of T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot

At twenty-six, I was inexperienced;
Still, I knew much about love
In the waste land, reasoning,
It’s not important when you start
Practicing, rather when you start searching;
And I committed myself to finding
It before others even knew it existed, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
My thoughts, my longings, my love
For something that didn’t need naming
In the misty mornings, recognizing
The dew on the petal, alive yet sleepy;
I was a dreamer, I admit, thinking,
April is the cruelest month, flying

Thoughts about some distant teaching,
Seeing invisible in the visible, loving
Wild thoughts making love, searching
To find it; love was a secret hard to decode—
Sacred to me, it was. Students talking
Of business, Dante and Michelangelo;
That was important, yet not so important

In the land where death died long ago, blooming
Roses taught me a lesson, doing
My search for me, wakening
The land where human measures are important
Yet not so important; so I stayed, deserving
A degree from real roses, forgetting
The Ph.D. at Harvard, which for me was waiting

Of course it was not about Michelangelo,
But does it really matter? I saw paintings
And landscapes, dead lands and lands
Alive, knowing it’s more important
To feel than to know. I had it all in my head;
And I stayed where dreaming
Was more important than competing

In the land where the women come and go, talking
Of Sara Bernhardt and Coco Chanel in the Sistine Chapel
And men come and go, talking
Of wars, children come and go, talking
Of chocolate, and they all go, leaving
Not much to think about exchanging
Experiences with feelings, transforming

Experiences into meanings, mixing
Thoughts about love evaporating
Into the yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window panes;
And in the end I understood April, learning
That April seemed cruel only in the dead land, knowing
That every month is equally paradisiacal and hellish,

Equally paradoxical.