The Wave

A blog full of poetry, colourful art and age-old wisdom: a rose garden whose leaves cannot be touched by autumnal blasts.

A Poem from a Famous Bulgarian Girl: Saturdays

On Saturdays I am unappreciated –

wild, flexible, and lively as a lynx.

And tiredness, having turned into a whim,

vacates me like a wound - healed up and faded.

 

School totally collapses in my mind

and I am far from registers and blackboards.

A hundred thousand rivers run towards me,

tints, hues, and rainbows fill my eyes,

 

and I get rhythms from those gypsy women.

I’m very, very strong - a vine in spring,

and I turn my guitar into a tear;

I never ask questions, never listen.

 

On Saturdays I am unappreciated –

wild, flexible, and lively as a lynx.

And fear, sorrow, tiredness or whims

vacate me like a wound - healed up and faded.

 

And I’m not even sure who I am.

But when I put on Monday’s uniform –

that blackboard-tunic once again,

I turn into a good girl as before.

 

Petya Stoykova Dubarova (1962-1979)

 

Translation from the Bulgarian by Belin Tonchev

 

СЪБОТА

Във събота съм тъмна, неразбрана

и гъвкава, и дива като рис.

Умората, избила във каприз,

напуска ме като зарасла рана.

 

Училището рухва в мисълта ми -

далеч със свойте дневници, дъски.

Към мен пътуват хиляди реки,

очите ми се пълнят с цветни гами

 

и циганки ми дават своя ритъм.

Аз, силна като пролетна лоза,

китарата превръщам във сълза

и никого не слушам, нито питам.

 

Във събота съм тъмна, неразбрана

и гъвкава, и дива като рис.

Умората, избила във каприз,

напуска ме като зарасла рана -

 

не зная просто как да се наричам…

Но щом във понеделник облека

престилка с цвят на черната дъска,

ще бъда пак добро момиче!

Zinaida Yevgenyevna Serebriakova (née Lanceray) [Зинаи́да Евге́ньевна Серебряко́ва; Зінаїда Євгенівна Серебрякова] (1884-1967): Moroccan Woman Wearing a Pink Dress [Марокканка в розовом платье], (detail), 1932, Minneapolis Institute of Art (?), Minneapolis, United States of America, source: wikiart.org. and classic-online-ru.

Zinaida Yevgenyevna Serebriakova (née Lanceray) [Зинаи́да Евге́ньевна Серебряко́ва; Зінаїда Євгенівна Серебрякова] (1884-1967): Moroccan Woman Wearing a Pink Dress [Марокканка в розовом платье], (detail), 1932, Minneapolis Institute of Art (?), Minneapolis, United States of America, source: wikiart.org. and classic-online-ru.

James Edward Hervey MacDonald (1873-1932): Mist Fantasy, Silkscreen Print (from the Sampson-Matthews Project; Group C of the Wartime Prints, (1943), 76.2 x 101.6 cm (30” x 40”), private collection, source: westbridge-fineart.com.

James Edward Hervey MacDonald (1873-1932): Mist Fantasy, Silkscreen Print (from the Sampson-Matthews Project; Group C of the Wartime Prints, (1943), 76.2 x 101.6 cm (30” x 40”), private collection, source: westbridge-fineart.com.

Mother, Summer, I

My mother, who hates thunderstorms, 
Holds up each summer day and shakes 
It out suspiciously, lest swarms 
Of grape-dark clouds are lurking there; 
But when the August weather breaks 
And rains begin, and brittle frost 
Sharpens the bird-abandoned air, 
Her worried summer look is lost, 

And I her son, though summer-born 
And summer-loving, none the less 
Am easier when the leaves are gone 
Too often summer days appear 
Emblems of perfect happiness 
I can’t confront: I must await 
A time less bold, less rich, less clear: 
An autumn more appropriate.

Philip Larkin

Sybil Andrews (1898-1992): The Mowers, 1937, linocut in four colours, printed in raw sienna, red, viridian and Chinese blue on buff oriental laid tissue, 29.2 x 35.2 cm, private collecton, source: art.findartinfo.com.

Sybil Andrews (1898-1992): The Mowers, 1937, linocut in four colours, printed in raw sienna, red, viridian and Chinese blue on buff oriental laid tissue, 29.2 x 35.2 cm, private collecton, source: art.findartinfo.com.

Adam Willaerts (1577-1664): Victory over the Spanish near Gibraltar by a Fleet Commanded by Admiral Jacob van Heemskerck, 25 April 1607 [De overwinning op de Spanjaarden bij Gibraltar door een vloot onder bevel van admiraal Jacob van Heemskerck, 25 april 1607], (1617), oil on canvas, 94.5 cm × 187.3cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, source: rijksmuseum.nl.

Adam Willaerts (1577-1664): Victory over the Spanish near Gibraltar by a Fleet Commanded by Admiral Jacob van Heemskerck, 25 April 1607 [De overwinning op de Spanjaarden bij Gibraltar door een vloot onder bevel van admiraal Jacob van Heemskerck, 25 april 1607], (1617), oil on canvas, 94.5 cm × 187.3cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, source: rijksmuseum.nl.

She Asked You

A girl asked you: What is poetry?

You wanted to say to her: You are too, ah yes, you are

and that in fear and wonder,

which prove the miracle,

I’m jealous of your beauty’s ripeness,

and because I can’t kiss you nor sleep with you,

and because I have nothing and whoever has nothing to give

must sing…

 

But you didn’t say it, you were silent

and she didn’t hear the song.

 

Vladimír Holan (1905-1980)

 

Translation from the Czech by Jarmila Milner and Ian Milner

 

Ptala se tě

Ptala se tě mladá dívka: Co je poézie?

Chtěl jsi jí říci: Také to, že jsi, ach ano, že jsi

a že ve strachu a úžasu, které je svědectvím zázraku,

bolestně žárlím na plnost tvé krásy,

a že tě nesmím líbat a že s tebou nesmím spát,

a že nic nemám, a že ten, kdo nemá, co by daroval,

musí zpívat…

 

Ale neřekl jsi jí to, mlčel jsi

a ona ten zpěv neslyšela…

carminagf:

Woman in Love. 1856. Henry Nelson O’Neil 

Henry Nelson O’Neil (1817-1880): Woman in Love, 1856, oil on canvas.

carminagf:

Woman in Love. 1856. Henry Nelson O’Neil 

Henry Nelson O’Neil (1817-1880): Woman in Love, 1856, oil on canvas.

Stanislav Yulianovich Zhukovsky (1875-1944) [Stanisław Żukowski; Станислав Юлианович Жуковский]: Interior, (1917), oil on canvas, 79 x 106.5 cm, private collection, source: macdougallauction.com.

Stanislav Yulianovich Zhukovsky (1875-1944) [Stanisław Żukowski; Станислав Юлианович Жуковский]: Interior, (1917), oil on canvas, 79 x 106.5 cm, private collection, source: macdougallauction.com.

Vulnerable the Asceticism of Pride, and Barely Visible

Vulnerable the asceticism of pride, and barely visible,

like the glass of skyscrapers, unless the sun

cloudlessly setting and rising, transforms them to a sparkling.

One whistle shatters the delicate casing.

One brush-stroke describes it, one step closer

and one touch with the fingertips betrays the fragility

of the besieged’s protection. I’m telling you this so you will know,

so you can ignore my defence and hasten to me.

Wilma Stockenström

Translation from the Afrikaans by Johann de Lange

Kwesbaar is die askese van trots, en nouliks sigbaar,

soos die glas van groot geboue, tensy die son

dit omtower in flonkering by wolklose opgaan en sak.

Een fluitklank versplinter die fyn huls.

Een kwashaal dui dit aan, een naderstap

en een aanraking met die vingertoppe verraai die broosheid

van die beleërde se beskerming. Ek vertel dit dat jy dit moet weet,

dat jy my verdediging sal verontagsaam en haastig na my sal kom.