Branko Miljković

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The bust of Branko Miljković

Branko Miljković (Serbian Cyrillic: Бранко Миљковић) (January 29, 1934, Niš – February 12, 1961, Zagreb) was an iconic Serbian poet.

He was best known across Yugoslavia and the Soviet bloc for his influential writings. At a time when no one could have foreseen anything but a bright future for the poet, he died prematurely in 1961 at the age of 27. He was found hanging from a tree in Zagreb, Croatia. This controversial incident was officially recorded as a suicide.

In his one-line poem "Epitaph," he writes "Ubi me prejaka reč" ("I was killed by a word too strong") almost sensing his premature end of life. During the last years of his life, he published five books of poetry (I Wake Her in Vain, Death against Death, The Origin of Hope, Fire and Nothing, The Shining Blood, criticism, and translations of the French Symbolists and Russian poet Osip Mandelstam. His influence still continues.

From a poem Jugoslavija, he writes -- "Here is how it started in today's necessity everything without fire burning into itself"—predicting the inevitable that was to come some three decades later.

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