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 ContemporaryBulgarian 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.
BY EDWARD THOMAS Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
Yes, I thought. “Rain” would be the perfect poem for Day 1 of Poetry at the Post as I was celebrating last night’s rain, a welcome gift, upon my return to my home in Far West Texas. Rain in the desert is good but rain in May in the Chihuahuan desert is super!
I continued to read on. There was rain but there was something more. This was a poem about death and dying—and war. Here is a piece that grounds us in the oft forgotten realities of this Memorial Day Weekend.
Born in 1878 in London to Welsh parents, Edward Thomas graduated from Oxford and earned his living as literary reviewer. Although he thought highly of poetry, Thomas did not write his first poem until the age of 36—only after being urged on by his friend and neighbor, the American poet, Robert Frost. His poetry career was brief, a mere three years. In 1915, Thomas enlisted in the infantry and was killed in action in the Battle of Arras in 1917 shortly after arriving in France.
But here pray that none of whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain…
While in residence, I’ll be reading poem a day at the post in Mano Prieto. If you are in the area, stop by for the reading. Times vary each morning so check in first before you make the drive. You’ll be able to see each day’s post under the tab, “Poetry at the Post.”