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Poet Dobrimir Banev: We should love slowly so there will be love left for tomorrow

Photo: Ivelina Cholakova

“Love me slowly” is the title of the new collection of poems by Dobromir Banev, one of Bulgaria’s best-loved contemporary poets.

Poems of his have been included in several anthologies published in Bulgaria and other countries, and his new book is illustrated with magnificent photographs by Ivelina Cholakova.

The poet’s work revolves around love, which is why he is so good at describing love. But what does love give and what does it take away?

To me, love is about giving. If it takes something away it is all to the good, Dobromir Banev says. Love can never rob you of anything. It gives even when we are unlucky in love, when love is unrequited we still have a good feeling and it somehow makes us happy.

Dobromir Banev’s poems are so universal that people see their own selves in them.

Does one meet love often or is it once and for all?

Never can any love be once and for all. I see love all around every day, I see it in the tram, in the street. I myself have met the love of my life and that gives me reason to be able to write about it.

Are we equally different in this respect?

Absolutely, we are equally different. However different we may be, what makes us the same is the ability to love and that is what sets us apart from all other living beings. That is why I would like to see people give love a chance. It is important to love slowly so there will be love left for tomorrow. We are living a hectic life and we do not seem to have the time for one another. We must be aware of that and each night find the time for a word of kindness, or for a glass of wine shared with the one we love.

A lawyer by training, but a poet at heart, Dobromir Banev is still looking for the answer to the eternal question: Is love an enigma, and is there a universal formula of love?

No, there is no universal formula, unfortunately, and as I have always said, in the dictionary there is no definition of love. In this sense words will never be enough and there will always be words we shall use in an attempt to explain what love is, to somehow compare it to something else, but no person can formulate what love really is.

Love can be “blue, red, ethereal, it carries absolutely every colour of the rainbow”.

To me love is what makes the world go round. It is what drives us to reach out for different goals. It is what makes humans feel truly alive, says poet Dobromir Banev.

Photos: Ivelina Cholakova

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