poem written during WWI by Dimcho Debelyanov

At daybreak on the dusty meadow road
a swift horse shakes its ferocious mane–
a young lad’s returning his home again.
Ah where’s the nook where I was born?

In the meadow waste, ey far in the dark
a flickering fire–travellers settle for the night,–
‘mid laughter’s din they’re going home.
Ah where’s the nook where I was born?

It’s been three days, the rain doesn’t stop,
sullen autumn lowers over the earth–
pain and darkness squeeze my heart.
Ah where’s the nook where I was born?

translated by Christopher Buxton

In The Middle Of Summer by Alexander Shurbanov

even the river stands still
The fiery rose–
a crisp cutout in the quiet air–
looks like a drawing.
The pears–
drops of golden sap
under the boughs’ green overhang–
as though they will never fall.
And my heart–
joyful and calm
like the midday sun–
far from rising
or setting down.
The honey on the lips–
still glowing
in the middle of the road–
a brief taste
of immortality.

translated by Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman