Публикувано от: bogpan | август 11, 2018

Bulgarian Poetry in English Translation (III/1): the period 1944-1989 – Konstantin Pavlov

Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

Konstantin Pavlov was one of the most important and gifted Bulgarian poets of the period after 1944. His immense talent and poetic imagination, and his independent personality brought him in frequent conflict with the Communist regime. Fortunately, two of his poetry collections are available in English: Cry of a Former Dog (translated by Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman, Ivy Press Princeton 2000) and Capriccio for Goya (also translated by Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman, Ivy Press Princeton 2003). Pavlov’s first books were confiscated before they could reach bookstores and readers. After that, he was officially sentenced to silence for his courageous depiction of the terror in his country.

Pavlov’s poetry, stylistically innovative, is a moral protest against the totalitarian dictatorship in Bulgaria from 1944 to 1989. Many of Pavlov’s poems contain also satirical elements, irony and humor, despite the serious conditions in which he lived and the suffocating intellectual atmosphere from which authors like…

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    bid your last farewell.
    Your time has come.
    What will you take
    with you into nothingness—
    two or three poems?
    A couple of melodies?
    And those, imperfect?
    Let the rest burn.
    It would only be just.
    Nature, mother,
    rest now—
    if the rupture
    of your last leave-taking
    hasn’t killed you.
    Life will erase the memories-wounds
    of your cruelest
    and most duplicitous
    offspring—Homo Sapiens.
    And no one will grieve,
    and no one should grieve.
    Only sadness—
    two or three atoms,
    the absurd love
    of a few surviving dogs—
    will drift
    towards infinity,
    into nothingness
    like a last,
    unmerited requiem.



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