Dostena Anguelova: Two Poems (translation by Holly Karapetkova)


I struck a match
on the night’s black flesh,
smell of gunpowder,

the sky—a womb stung
by countless golden bees.

No one waits for me.

Everything beckons

to Bulgaria.



Драсвам клечката
по черната плът на нощта,
замирисва на барут
небето – утроба ужилена
от безброй златни пчели.

Никой не ме чака.

Всичко ме вика

в България…



One of his eyes teaches me


not to resemble

the particular question.

The answer is something different.

Haven’t his eyes brought up

armies of fireflies

with no sense of the season?



Едното му око ме учи


да не приличам

на конкретния въпрос.

Отговорът е друг.

Нали в очите му се възпитаваха

армии от светулки

без понятие за сезона?

Dostena Anguelova is a poet, anthropologist, and journalist. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and has been published and translated widely throughout Europe. She holds a PhD in International Relations and is the author of the influential political nonfiction text, Experts of Transition.

Theses poems originally appeared in Dostena’s Bulgarian collection Nova Granitza (New Border), 2014, published by Janet 45.

Holly Karapetkova’s poetry, prose, and translations from the Bulgarian have appeared recently in Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, and many other places. Her second book, Towline, is the winner of the Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize and was recently published by Cloudbank Books.

Photo by Larm Rmah