Blesok no. 100, September, 2015
Essays


He Wrote as He Lived and He Lived as He Wrote

Josip Osti



He Wrote as He Lived and He Lived as He Wrote


I saw Igor Isakovski for the first time when I responded to the invitation of my friend, the poet Bogomil Gjuzel, and again, for the first time after the war in which former Yugoslavia disintegrated, I participated at the Struga Poetry Evenings, which were then organized by Gjuzel. Among those who helped in the organization, I saw a handsome, tall young man with a long, black hair and large dark eyes, not knowing then that it was Igor Isakovski. Nor that he was a poet. For I spent most of the time with and talking to my old acquaintances and friends among Macedonian poets, not only older than him, but also older than me. And we met and spoke for the first time some years later, after he had already translated and published several of my books for Blesok. Our first meeting was in Slovenia, where I had lived for a longer time, since 1990, and I had already written poems in Slovenian as well. That is how we started our, as the great poet Tin Ujević said, fraternity in the universe. Which is also confirmed by our correspondence, because we both started each of our letters by My dear brother… His numerous translations and releases of my books followed. And our meetings. He stayed in my house in the hamlet of Tomaj several times. And he felt as in his own house there, just as I did in his then Skopje home, when I visited him. With him, his wife Kalina (who previously, without knowing my wife Barbara, had sent her a nice, big orange shawl, which I put around her neck, when she died in 2007, since she loved it so much, and Igor was present at the funeral) and their daughters Sara and Lina. Lina’s child’s drawing, which she has given me, still hangs on the wall above my desk. As the books Igor has given me are still on my shelves. Our ten year long friendship was indeed a poetic brotherhood. But even more than that. Because not only did he regularly send me each poem that he would write, to tell him my impression about it, but we also confided to each other many most intimate things. As a translator, editor, publisher, and first of all, a poet, he fascinated me with his diligence and energy, although they say that I too have done and written a lot. He wrote a lot. Unconventionally. Not rarely challengingly. Critically. And self-critically. Passionately. Lovably. Self-destructing… In short, he wrote as he lived and he lived as he wrote. Until his last breath. Until his maybe last, unfinished poem, when his sudden death put a large, black full stop. I still cannot believe that he is gone, but I believe that he will continue to live in what he has written. Especially for those who will read what he has written carefully and without any prejudice, as it is the only possible way to read poetry. (Instead of this I would prefer to have written to him at least one more letter, starting by Dear brother Igor, … and finishing it with: Cordial greetings and brotherly hugs from Tomaj.)




__________________________________________________________
created by