“Poetry” by Elisaveta Bagyrana, trans Brenda Walker.


If my glance were not blest-
with you, inside. Open-eyed to penetrate the darkness,
and to make it fly and dance for me,
grafting wings to it,
to teach it how to see the flower,
to see the future fruit in the a branch still bare,
and to land with an interstellar craft
on a star that twinkles there-
how could my eyes, deprived of such joy
if you did not exist ?
If you had not pitched my ear-
so that in stillness I can hear
those words, someone whispers to enlist for me
words, that bring both care and cheer,
with nearby or distant voice,
from outer space or next door’s fence,
that reach me when full of remorse,-
all that powerful richness of sense
my life would miss,
if you did not exist.
If you had not possessed my heart
from youth until this very hour,
poured all your song and thought in me-
so I might feel my sister’s hand
when I was helpless and alone,
so that your furnace could transmute
sorrow to a spark, into joyous-tones.
Elisaveta Bagyrana, Penelope of the Twentieth Century, trans, Brenda Walker, with Valentine Borrisov and Belin Tonchev Forest Books 1993. Elisaveta on Wikipedia.