Poetry at the Post, Day 14: Bulgaria Anyone? да, Bulgaria!
“Noah, The Carrier” by Kristin Dimitrova, as translated by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer
To Gilgamesh*, however, he’d spoken like this:
I freed a pigeon, but it returned.
I freed a swallow—same thing.
I was going to head next to Greece at The Post but decided to stop in Bulgaria along the way. Today’s poem is by Kristin Dimitrova, a Bulgarian poet whose work appears in the 2014 Anthology of Contemporary Bulgarian Poetry The Season of Delicate Hunger, edited by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer .
Lake Pancharevo in southern Sofia
I like this poem because thematically it explores myth & legend and truth. We all have those friends who only tell you what you want to hear and then again, many times folks only hear what they want to hear. How much of religion or history is truth? As, we know, history is always written from the viewpoint of the victor, or dominant culture.
There is no way
Truth does not make a good legend
Yet legend is truth’s only carrier.
In an interview Dimitrova says, “I’d like American readers to know that Bulgarian poetry exists.” I must admit I know little about Bulgaria, well, okay, almost nothing.
You can read more about Dimitrova as well as the entire poem “Noah, the Carrier” here. There’s a fun twist at the end.
*The Gilgamesh is one of my favorite epics and we’ll be reading it in the Global Reading Group, a virtual literary salon.