Milorad Pavić

Never more

The Raven

If you were to buy me once more

A notebook with pages blank and unlined

Perhaps I would finally be able

To write you a love letter

The last instead of the first


I was happy, but did not know it,

You were unhappy, but did not know it.

When we realized, it was too late

Forever for me, but not for you

But you did not know that either


At „Ljubić’s“ we dined on

Veal with baked vegetables

You sat unhappy and healthy

And I happy and ill

In the mirror behind you

The cars and people going down the street

Were going up the street


For my birthday you bought me a book

I read it with your eyes

Watching out for the parts in it

That you might appreciate

For me books are no more


There are people that hate us immensely

And others that love us well

I am used to that; you are not

I count only the second,

But you, only the first.


You are clairvoyant, you see the future better

Not I, I more clearly see the past

You think only of the past

I dream only of the future

Perhaps we all want what we do not have


A woman once foretold us

The future would not resemble the past

I do not believe in that prophecy

On your parasol I wrote

All the lovely days of our past

All the gloomy days of our past

You wrote onto my umbrella

You do not believe that prophecy either


An ancient man once wrote

I cannot live with you or without you

When I read that I said

How beautifully this is put

Today I could not care less how it is put

Now I know it to be true


In youth the body is before the spirit

In old age the spirit is before the body

I know that both in work and in love

I seized the moment

When the spirit and body were equal

And now it is as it must be


You were young, beautiful and talented

I was happy because of your talent

You were unhappy because of my talent

Which left no time for the two of us

While I thought that talent did not count the years


I said that books are our children

When they are ready they will spread their wings and fly

When that happened our children spread their wings and flew

When that happened our books spread their wings and flew

Now our house is without the mortar that binds


A Russian man says that time

Stands still in matter and flows in energy

I think that our Now, our life

Is born at the intersection of eternity and time

You say that only for four more years

You will be able to wear pretty dresses

(These unpublished verses were written in October and November 2009. Some of them in hospital.) (note by Jasmina Mihajlović)