Project Description

Mirzo Mustovic


Mirzo Mustovic
Before coming to the UK as a refugee in 1993, he was professor of French Language and Literature at the University of Mostar. During his studies in France (1957-59), he wrote some poems in French. Before the war, he published many poems in Serbo-Croat: the chronicle ‘Skrivena tvrdjava’ (Hidden Fortress). After the Bosnia-Herzegovina war, he published a lot of true stories concerning himself and the suffering of people around him. As a refugee in London, he succeeded in finishing his first novel ‘Da je bilo srece..’ (If there were any luck…), which was published eight years after the end of the war. He has just sent another novel to his publisher ‘Unutrasnja ogrebotina’ (Internal Scratch).
From 1970 to 1975 he was director of the National Theatre in Mostar. Prior to this, he wrote a play ‘You too father!’ that he translated into English with Martin Taylor. This play has not yet been staged.

The Kiss of the River Banks
Translated by Ivan Danicic & Tom Harrison

Stone by stone
Stone upon stone
Stone against stone
And through the stones
The banks hold out their hands to each other
Boldly seizing
Binding one to the other
As men
And time
Build bridges
(And destroy them)
With their hands…

…Two banks became one
Each gives itself to the other
Kissing in the sky
Watching below
That stone embrace
Becoming in turn a part of heaven
A part of ourselves

(Mostar 1967)