Публикувано от: bogpan | март 29, 2021

Geo Milev: ‘The Icons are Sleeping’ and ‘September’ Translated by Tom Phillips

The High Window

*****

The Bulgarian poet, translator and critic Geo Milev (1895-1925) was a leading figure in European modernism, but his work has only rarely been translated into English. The poems here are considered to be among his most important: ‘The Idols Are Sleeping’ (1922) is a reworking of five traditional Bulgarian songs while ‘September’ (1924) is Milev’s response to the violent suppression of a popular uprising against the right-wing coup in Bulgaria in 1923. Milev was secretly executed during state-led reprisals against the communist bombing of Sofia’s St Nedelya church in 1925.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that in the originals Milev makes much use of rhyme and that even those of us  with no Bulgarian may appreciate the opportunity of  listening to the astonishing sound effects he achieves in a poem like ‘September’. I have therefore added a link to it at the bottom of this feature.

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Tom Phillips

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