(60/365) Poem by Konstantin Pavlov

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 60!

Dear Friend…

Let’s now swap the humps on our backs—
just for variety—
you take the Glory,
I will handle the Disgrace—
the relative weight is identical.

And, please,
stop crying—
you are making me sad.

Author: Konstantin Pavlov
Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Konstantin Pavlov (1933-2008) was a beloved Bulgarian poet. Read about him here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_Pavlov

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(59/365) Poem by Beloslava Dimitrova

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 59!

The Origin of Species

He was screaming: Why aren’t you multiplying
I’ve placed you in splendid conditions
why are you doing this to me
after I’ve provided you with everything
almost complete freedom
and the country
you come from
They: Master we the tamed need
misery to give you another generation

Author: Beloslava Dimitrova
Translated from the Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Beloslava Dimitrova is the author of two poetry books. Her second book, “The Wild Nature,” received a honorary award at the Ivan Nikolov National Poetry Award in December, 2014.

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(58/365) Poem by Dimitar Hristov

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 58!

Maidan

like Jesus I’m nailed
to the Ukrainian Maidan,
and the sniper’s bullets,
like the Biblical nails,
are driven through a giant cross
on which I am crucified,
together with the world, petrified
with cold and hunger.

There will be a crucifixion
and a resurrection – and again
seed will sprout with Ukraine.
Conception is no secret.
The world awaits a sign from the divine –
the repentance of each enemy!

When instead of guiding a parade
in Kiev’s square
a proud barricade
turns into a hellish pyre
and from its ashes flies
away towards the clouds
and watches above our heads
the winged Heavenly Hundred…
The guilt
       will anchor
              inside us.

Pilate will be washing his hands…
Tell me, where are you,
who is to blame
when there is a cannonade
and someone is attacking someone else?
When each house can turn
into a family tomb,
when someone defends his honor
and tends alone to his wounds.

Aggression means death.
But how can the world improve,
when power rests not with the meek,
the kind of heart,
but with the harshest of tyrants
and the cruelest of aggressors.
In this world,
       tell me,
              where are you!

Author: Dimitar Hristov
Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Translator’s note: In Bulgarian this poem has perfect rhyme and rhythm. Unfortunately, I was not able to transfer either into English.

Dimitar Hristov is a Bulgarian poet, musician and playwright. He currently lives and works in Skopje, Macedonia, with his wife – Ukrainian writer Anna Bagriana.

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(57/365) Poem by Konstantin Pavlov

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 57!

Giant (‒ ‒ ‒) Is on Its Way

If all this Giant (‒ ‒ ‒)
that is at hand…
What I want to say is:
if I manage to dismember
this Giant (‒ ‒ ‒)
into distinct letters…
Perhaps…
Perhaps we’ll manage to save ourselves.
Well?

After I dismember (‒ ‒ ‒)
into distinct letters – that is –
if each separate letter
of the Giant (‒ ‒ ‒)
would suddenly…
Well?

Some words I don’t pronounce on purpose –
I kill them by passing over them in silence.
Or I don’t give birth to them at all.
At most I symbolize them with dashes.
Like this: (‒ ‒ ‒).
I’m afraid that if they were pronounced,
they might materialize into (‒ ‒ ‒).
That’s why I’m often accused of unclarity.
They don’t know I do this for their own good.
I mean the good of my accusers.
And the good of all of us.
Something like magic against (‒ ‒ ‒).
Because if some words come to life,
(‒ ‒ ‒) for example…
The end.

‒ ‒ ‒ ‒ ‒ ‒
*Behind those dashes hides the word “horror”

Author: Konstantin Pavlov
Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Konstantin Pavlov (1933-2008) was a beloved Bulgarian poet. Read about him here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_Pavlov

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(56/365) Poem by Ivan Metodiev

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 56!

Birch

By the brook I saw
a blooming birch

and not knowing why
I stopped by,

breeze wafted, and for an instant
the tree slightly shuddered…

This is the soul
of some thirsty traveler.

Author: Ivan Metodiev
Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Ivan Metodiev (1946-2003) was a beloved Bulgarian poet, author of fourteen collections of poetry.

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(55/365) Poem by Petja Heinrich

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 55!

I learned to discern

the flight of cranes from those of mallards
high in the sky that’s not an easy job
with such skill I’ll somehow get along in life

Author: Petja Heinrich
Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Petja Heinrich is the author of a five books of poetry, most recently Lotus (Small Stations Press, 2014). She is the founder of the print poetry journal “But Poetry.” She lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany.

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(54/365) Poem by Dimitrina Baeva

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 54!

Knowledge

The home I left
now is so distant.
Without it my days
are orphaned more palpably.
Since I’ve learned this,
I’ve asked to understand
what eternity is.
Is it possible to forget
what I’ve been born with?
I listen closely to my senses.
The knowledge is inside me.
Home, wherever it may be,
is the sun.
I am the sunflower.
Consciously, unconsciously,
cruelly but constantly
a person travels always
toward the place he left.

Author: Dimitrina Baeva
Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Dimitrina Baeva was born in Bourgas and lived there most of her life. She was a close friend of mine, a brilliant poet, author of two books of poetry and two more published posthumously.

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(53/365) Poem by Peycho Kanev

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 53!

The Villain

Someone enters the heart
of someone else
Does so quietly without a sound
Maybe just one
like the sound heard when a match
ignites
in a deep mine shaft

Someone enters the heart of someone else
and stays there as long as necessary

He doesn’t come out to breathe or drink water
and stays there until the other says
End of game

Then he comes out of the heart
Does so quietly without a sound
Maybe just one
like the sound of lips parting
after a long kiss

Author: Peycho Kanev
Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Peycho Kanev is the author of three poetry books, most recently Whiskey in a Tin Can (Zhanet 45, 2013). His poems have been published in over 1000 literary journals around the world.

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(52/356) Poem by Fedia Filkova

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 52!

Visit

Death isn’t my sister.
I am nothing like this
unceremonious woman
who enters
without knocking
and sits without asking
in the middle of the room,
in the middle of the day,
in the middle of life,
and stretches out her hand,
waiting for me to take it,
while repeating nonstop:
You are so close to me.

Author: Fedia Filkova
Translated from the Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Fedia Filkova is author of several books of poetry, most recently Nothing Dark (East West Press, 2014). She lives and writes in Sofia.

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(51/365) Poem by Zlatna Kostova

Katerina has taken on the challenge of translating poems from Bulgarian and publishing 365 of them on her blog during 2015! This is post number 51!

At the Stop

At the streetcar stop
a young man starts talking to me.
He wants me to give him one lev,
so he composes a story:
he’s a student, got attacked,
makes up a robbery,
wrings his hands, blushes
in the uncustomary role.
“Thank you, thank you very much”
(I know that’s what he’ll say to me in a minute.)
I give him one lev.
Because he’s young.
And because
he can’t lie yet.

Author: Zlatna Kostova
Translated from the Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Zlatna Kostova is a poet, journalist, translator of films and TV programs. She is the Director of International Relations at the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency. Her first book, A Sparrow in Its Shell was published in 2012.

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