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March 30, 2005


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Coyu, this is really a fascinating exchange. I put a plug up over at my blog:


Thanks! The 1944 US bombing of Belgrade is nearly unknown in the US, and I found it amazing that Simic and Hugo were connected in this way.



Thanks for this very good information. I did know about the bombing of Belgrade and have always felt bad about it. I don't approve of bombing cities in any case. It always solidifies the resistance of whoever you bomb in a way that NOTHING else can.
It is of interest to know that aerial bombardment with airplanes began in the Balkans, it was done by two Bulgarians agains the Turks, in something like 1912.


Thanks so much for this post. The very morning the bombing took place, a brother of my grandmother just slept through. He woke up because of the noise of the people comming back from the basement. It is a family joke ever since. On the other hand, nobody seems to understand quite well, why was Belgrade almost completely destroyed (mainly on what it's infrastructure concerns) by the allies at the end of the II W.W., more than on 6th of July of 1941, when bombed by the germans.
I really enjoy reading your blog.


I'm very glad everyone has enjoyed this post! Simic's anecdote reminds me of my first night in Belgrade, not long after a more recent bombing, when Doug took me through the snow to the Kalemegdan, on the bluffs overlooking the Danube. Teenagers were spinning 'doughnuts' on the soccer fields below, and one could see the confluence of the Sava and the Danube, dark against the purple-gray of snow at night. In my mind's eye I can see Hugo's fingertip moving among the breadcrumbs on the red checkered tablecloth, tracing out the lines of the rivers. He points: there's the Old City, there's Zemun.

I don't know whether poets are 'the unacknowledged legislators of our world' -- in fact, I kinda hope not, considering how many of them are nuts -- but they give people things that can't be gotten any other way.


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