Diana Burazer: It’s hard to move away from yourself

Gordana Igrec
Autor/ica 24.6.2020. u 09:28

Diana Burazer: It’s hard to move away from yourself


Little female conversations with poet Diana Burazer

It all seemed mysterious to me about the poet and graduate mathematician Diane Burazer. From the very birth, everything was “warm and human with a lot of hats and thick”. So I started small female conversations with her about her childhood, and then moved on to more “serious” questions about her poetry and literature in general. Don’t give up, but take a cup of coffee in your hand, put it next to you and read this interesting conversation.

Interviewed by: Gordana Igrec – akademija-art.hr

So where were you born?

I was born in Zagreb. At Kvatrić. The parents were still students, and lived in a rented room with the family of Ferda Pomykala (a famous Croatian composer and conductor).

Neighbors often looked after me because my mother was a very persistent woman and ambitious, so she graduated in pharmacy on time. But very soon my mother’s father bought an apartment in Trešnjevka, where we moved. Nono was a wise man, and practical, so he invested money in buying an apartment with the intention of making it for all future students in our family.

As my parents worked, I spent the whole time in the neighborhood with the Lukavečki family, which had seven children. I remember how happy we always were. When I was seven, we moved to Pleternica. And then, after only five years in Pleternica, Herzegovina, in Ljubuski.

What is your occupation?

By profession I am a B.Sc. ing. theoretical mathematics.I was an excellent student in high school, already then received some awards for poetry,… but then I decided to study mathematics.

I always liked to go “by the wind”, so as in spite of everyone (!?) Who expected me to study literature, I decided something completely different. In those years, my generation opted for literature (if you had any gift for writing), for electrical engineering (if you were good at math), and for economics (if you didn’t know what to do). For mathematics few. Because what would you do with that if you weren’t a math teacher.

Those were the years (1972) when informatics was not yet included as a subject in a study, so mathematics was more like a strange and undefined goal.

When did you start writing poetry?

I wrote my first songs in the second grade of elementary school in Pleternica.

A new teacher came to the school (I think her name was Mira Bosanac?) And became my idol.

Because of her, I also started writing songs because she was editing a wall newspaper (today it would be FaceBook).

The first songs were about mother, flowers (primrose !?) and spring.

Later in high school in Ljubuški, writing took on a more serious meaning in my life.

So how much homeland is there in your poetry?

In my case, the term “homeland” is indefinite.

I was born in Zagreb (and now I live in it), but at the age of 7 I moved to Pleternica (where I spent my first school days and made my first friends).

At the age of 12, I already moved to Ljubuški. There I finished elementary school and high school, made new friends, fell in love,….

And then going to study in Zagreb. After graduation, my husband and I (my husband is from Ljubuški!) Decided to live in Mostar.

We spent a wonderful 15 years in Mostar. And then came 1992 and the war, and here I am again in my hometown – in Zagreb!

I am attached to all these places, I have many friends… and somehow I can’t determine which city is closer to me, more important, which has determined me more than others in my life.

During all that time, I only went constantly to Stari Grad (island of Hvar), where my mother comes from, and where I have my parents’ house.

When I think about it, maybe I’m still most attached to the island. Although I never lived there all the time.

And the island, the sea, the Old Town… .is the most ingrained in my verses.

What is poetry for you?

That is a difficult question. I know what isn’t! It is not existence! You can’t live from poetry, have an apartment, eat…

If we mean reading poetry books then it is something beautiful, ethereal… ..which fulfills you in a special way! Different than reading a novel or a story!

If we think of my own writing of poetry, then it is something I cannot logically explain,… but when I write and finish a poem (which I am satisfied with) – there is no comparison to the joy, the quiet primordial one!

What kind of lyrics do you write: love, spiritual, reflective, etc.?

I don’t know what to answer !? Maybe “reflexive”!?

How many collections have you released so far and which ones?

I can say: only seven!

I’m not very happy with myself, when it comes to quantity.

I take comfort (!?) That you can’t just sit and write songs. It takes some process in you that you break through various filters, read books,….

Published books in BiH and Croatia are:

Nesvanjivo, Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1974
The Fourth Wall, Literary Youth, Sarajevo, 1984
On a Rest Between Two Worlds, MD, Zagreb, 1994
The Second House, Tribune Morning of Poetry, Zagreb, 2003
Outside the Shelter, Selection of Poems in the Manualis Labor Library, Priboj, 2007
Naranča, Fidipid, Zagreb, 2008.
Nebeske jabuke, Zagreb, 2018

Books published in other languages:

Orange and second hook (Orange and other houses) – a selection of poetry in Macedonian, Makavej, Skopje (2012)

Winter Oranges (Winter orange) – a selection of poetry in Bulgarian, Slavic Academy, Sofia (2013)

Час, какой нам залишается (The time we have left) – a selection of poetry in the Ukrainian language, Lutsk (2015)

Are you an award winner and which ones?

Prizes and awards:

Antun Branko Šimić – award for young poets, Drenovci, BiH, 1970
Slovo Gorčina – award (first awarded general) for young poets, Stolac, BiH, 1972
Goran’s spring – award for young poets, Zagreb, 1974
Josip Sever – award for best poet manuscript Druga kuća, Zagreb, 2003
Silver Flying Pen – International Award for All Poetry, Poetry Festival “Slavic Embrace”, Varna (Bulgaria), 2011.

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration takes many forms, and can be found in a variety of places.

And all that changes according to our age.

In the beginning, when you are younger, then it has always been the life around you, the relationships between people,… your own emotions.

Now it all appears as well, but in some smaller percentage of the song written later. Most of it belongs to experience, reading books, your focus on a topic you want to write about…

What is the connection between numbers, mathematics and poetry?

I guess you mean to ask how many numbers and math are in my poetry?

There are almost no mathematical concepts or preoccupations.

There are songs (Cube, Hyperbole…) that have math titles, but they talk about completely different things that have nothing to do with math.

Perhaps (but not by my intentional will) mathematics, as an orderliness and systematicity, crept into the organization of the poem.

My poems have a form and way of telling (as some critics have written about my poetry) that is reminiscent of mathematical / computer processes: you know what to stand at the beginning,… and what at the end of a poem.

Of course, it’s not quite like that, but that could be the answer to the influence of mathematics in my poetry.

What about prose? Do you also write prose?

I also have a lot of written material for short stories. A few stories are completely finished and I now read them at literary appearances to evaluate myself. It is good to “hear” them in the context of other stories of my colleagues – prose writers.

It’s a new experience for me and I’m already looking forward to more active storytelling.

It is otherwise known that it is difficult for poets to start writing prose; we think that every line in the text must be justified, that everything must have a deep meaning, poetically colored,….

It’s hard to move away from yourself.

What are you preparing for us?

I write songs! They are already easily grouped,… and “go” towards the book.

I have a few stories, so I would try to collect that in another book as well.

Until when will you write poetry?

While I live. Poetry leaves room for all themes and ways of writing, and it is not limited to years.

Are poets really the wonder of the world?

Po, and they are not. Today, when we meet (after a literary evening) we talk very briskly, passionately about everything: about poetry, colleagues, politics…

There are few peculiarities that are different.

I think that has also changed, and all in accordance with the times, the Internet, which does not allow you absolute isolation that would put you in a state of “weirdos”.

How do colleagues at work view you as a poet?

You have those who appreciate you for that, come to your promotions,….

And there are those who are not interested in something like that at all, and do not perceive it as a plus or a minus for you.

When we have some gatherings outside the office (celebrations, etc.), then it is known to call me to say something nice, a verse, etc.

By the way, I like to speak the verses of other poets as well.

I first try to establish the seriousness of their wish, assess the situation,… and if (in my opinion) it is a good time to say a verse – then I say so.

I try not to impose poetry on those who really don’t want to hear it, but call you out of some “stunt” or order.

I appreciate poetry (my own and my colleagues’) too much to push it, and impose it, where it may not belong!

Do you have a role model in poetry and which one?

Well we have role models (somehow!?) when we are young. Then I loved Jesenjin, Cesarić, Mihalić,… and even Desanka.

Now I read the poetry of my colleagues, translations of poetry,… And I can say that I often admire their verses.

I can’t call them my role models, although I would love to sign some of their songs.

I am too old to change my poetics no matter what it is and how satisfied I am with it. And it’s not easy either.

And I don’t know how much the poet himself (and so would I) would like that.

Everyone has their own life (which they may not be very happy with) and cannot (and may not want to!?) change it.

So it is with our poetry.

Why is poetry so little read? Does that bother you?

Unfortunately, poetry books are not bought, booksellers are reluctant to take it (and that hurts!).

In the shop windows you will find 10 of the same titles of some just printed hit novel (I don’t know why so many of the same titles!!!?), But there is no book of poetry!

Poetry has one small (comforting) advantage over prose because it can be spoken at public appearances.

If you have the gift of knowing how to interpret your verses then you are even pleasantly surprised at how much people like to listen to poetry.

It happens to me often, and then I am satisfied. At least time.

Why are you writing? What makes you do that?

Writing is an urge, at least at the beginning of a song. Put 2-3 verses on paper.

And then you have the desire to finish it, to read it somewhere, tek and only then comes the desire to publish the book.

Academician Tonko Maroević’s short review of your poetry, take a few sentences out of the book and write to us, please.

From Tonko Maroević’s review of my latest book “Heavenly Apples”


The mature age of her writing falls into the new millennium, when she publishes more intensively and experiences a more serious reception (including translations and editions in foreign languages). The motif of exile, the trauma of displacement (a position already noticeable in the titles of recent collections: The Second House and Outside the Law ) is imposed , and the increasingly self-conscious lyrical subject takes the freedom to penetrate existential doubts and anxieties, witness painful dilemmas and awareness of being thrown into the world. rejection from the world of youthful dreams). The Orange Collection offered us a lyrical canon of a certain spiritual stoicism and disillusionment, overcoming dramatic and tragic experiences with an awareness of being chained to vital circles and breakthroughs.

The latest collection of Heavenly Apples somewhat extends this confessional, autobiographical line, but is motivically much broader, and also more specifically reflexive, metapoetic, self-questioning. It will not be a coincidence that the collection is framed precisely by poems in which the fate of poetry is treated. In the introductory place is the text “Against Poetry”, with noble skepticism about the possibility of capturing other people’s destinies, and the last poem in the collection is called “Verses, unpublished”, where the incompleteness, incompleteness or inappropriateness of the writer’s ambitions is ironized.


We can conclude that Diana Burazrer is not afraid to indulge in emotions, that she skillfully suppresses the reasoning tone if it is imposed on her: “the skill of balancing has never been enough for happiness”. The measure of things is given only by personal experience, sometimes a “small lamp on the forehead” is enough to show the way, it is enough to stop “10 centimeters from reality” and to amortize the fall. The emblematic poem “I bought a hill” is challenging both in the basic picture and in taming the paradox, and explicit in the conclusion: “I am a poet / and I am not.//A dreamer / who bought a hill / I am.” Indeed, we got a poetess who is able to amaze the ordinary, weave a “magical flying carpet” from the material brought in, get out of the house and climb the hill with the help of a “timeless creator”.

Is any of your songs set to music?

I don’t think my songs are suitable for music.

My friends from Ljubuški, Vedran Vegar and Miro Akmadžić, set to music the song “Križ” (from my book “Druga kuća”). I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how good it sounds.

You can hear it (when you are interested) on the Internet.

By the way, she met Senad Galijašević in the 80’s. Then he performed under the name “Senad of Bosnia”, and later in the 90’s, when he came to Zagreb, under the name “Senna M”.

I state this so that the older generations, and those a little less older, could be threatened.

However, it is still mentioned today (because it is unavoidable) when talking about the topic of dance music in Croatia.

We are still great friends.

In the 80’s, Sena and I met at Tjentište at the Meeting of Young Creators of Yugoslavia. Great popularity then, along with Sena, were the groups Silver Wings (they were “top”), Fire Kiss…. Seni liked my verses and then Sena suggested that I write the lyrics (he already had music recorded. How I like challenges it I accepted, but I struggled a lot! And that’s how my lyrics-verses (they are not in any of my books!) to Sena’s music were created. I think it’s two songs. One is “Flight to Bosnia”, which is also the title of Sena’s album. I have to admit that I was very proud when I saw my name printed on the gramophone record! And I am completely unmusical!



Gordana Igrec
Autor/ica 24.6.2020. u 09:28