Zlatomir Zlatanov

Poetry

At the grave of Penyo Penev

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Essay

Essay on Orpheus and Christ

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Poetry

Night Beaches

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Ariadna and Dionisius on the Island of Naxos

Translated by: Translated by Joana Aynswert

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Waded in the waves, in a light garment,
with the shadow of sleep in the eyes, bewildered
what fate would the empty horizon bring her,
her ankles she uncovers and curses Thezeus furiously.

 

Who was this scenery promised to,
frozen like a shadow, in a timeless stop,
would you be able to accept her, just like a man accepts
abandoned by another lover, the unpromised...

 

The conqueror of Asia,
a commander more glorious than the Alexander the Great,
the merry god of wine, he comes unexpectedly,
from the ship, his noisy crowd collapses,
with cymbals, whistles, drums and flutes
directing the dance of women and snakes
                  in intoxicating twists,
in the air over the dunes
frisky lynx and panthers pass each other by
and wake the lions with their paws
satyrs and sileni from their drunken nap.
The glass served is a glass drank,
the clear eyes are eyes in mist,
our interrupted life is a continuous dance
along the islands of abandoned lovers,
in the seas after fleeing lovers,
where memory is a constant un-learning to be real.
We will sail with gestures,
cleared towards their original meaning,
only with that breath which no one
can preserve, nor past nor future,
omnipresent breathlessness ... Oh, not that
oxygen inhalation for health,
nor the carbon sigh,
nor these alternations of rhythmic horror
on our lips merged together...
The sea is feminine, wide open, dragging
vine sticks with clustered grape
and oil rigs like dancers
dancing past us, dressed in poison ivy.
Our last juices are our first juices,
our dance of sorrow is the happy dance,
nothing more, nothing less.
Were your face and lips promised to me,
as the light of the dawn,
was the face of my son promised to me,
my face, my head, a cone of madcap thyrsus...
Were they promised to us
these islands and shores, seas,
and our country - many times promised,
nothing more and nothing less than we are capable of
holding in our hands ...
Not these polluted springs,
nor these unlocked energies of ores,
more detrimental than grape juice
and raging menadas,
not these abandoned lovers,
nor this unwise thirst
to capture and to kill, sailors,
I didn’t unlock the vine sap for such madness
I didn’t teach you this.
But enough now ... All directions
of ecstasy are sinful - and promised.

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