Two Poems


Bozhidar Bozhilov

On a beautiful spring dusk
Dimitrov began speaking at a meeting,
standing erect right near the huge stars,
and quickly makes the sign with his hands –
and all your weariness disappears.

In the festive city’s darkness
voices are stifled, the wind does not blow
and you see: Strikes. Arrests. War.
Uprising in September. Flags.
Ruthlessly the war begins.

Bullets fly. Factories are silent.
The eyes are inflamed by the sparks of red stars,
He does not tremble before suffering and before death,
and leads strongly towards the true path,
following proudly the words of Lenin.

With days the class grows – and he grows too.
The young sailor is by now a brave steerman.
Culminating at Leipzig with honour in an unequal war,
and emerges out of it an invincible hero,
with whose heart beat countless others hearts.

His fame reaches Madrid,
and to all countries, everywhere he is born.
He becomes a poster, becomes dynamite
like a dawn radiant and glowing
freely before the whole humanity.

The flags in alleys whisper,
it echoes in the workers’ bold songs,
and in the grey gloom of our country,
in the bloody bricks of the wall,
sparkles in the eyes of those shot dead.

Here he is: humanly simple, happy.
He says: ‘Your dreams will come true!’
And you think our life will be beautiful
even in the old wilder beech-tree
factories will rise up towards Balkan.

The winds will blow in the young homes,
the aroma of the lilac will reach the highway sides
and no longer will they fire at night,
and kill our old fathers,
our hearts will not throb in horrible moments….

He speaks. The city is radiant with stars.
Lips don’t refrain their songs now.
Why are you standing? Dream, dream, dream!
Follow Dimitrov! Surrender to him completely
and look further and further!


Our Names

Blaga Dimitrova

I go to foreign lands
amidst foreign folks,
but wherever I step
and stop,
the moment they hear
people exclaim
with beaming looks:
      Ah, Dimitrov’s daughter!

And without heeding
my protests,
welcome me
as their most-awaited guest.
And an unknown Groznian
under the palm-shades
raises a toast
to my father’s

But in between
I intervene
the toast,
I rush
to intervene
the joy:
‘Excuse me!
Here the names
Dimitrov for certain
is not my father!’

It’s awkward for me,
that such a misunderstanding
But strange!
The joy is not suppressed.
 continue to glow
continue to invite:
–‘Tell us
about your father!

An Azerbaijanian
threw deftly
in my hands
a huge
red pomegranate.
And ran
towards the train,
waving at me
–‘Do you hear,
give my greetings
to your father!’

I don’t know…
It can’t be me
who’s guilty,
if they think,
that he is my father.
Don’t I restrain
my filial pride
when they shower praises
on his valour?

And on that day of July
how hesitantly
a Russian student
a savage soldier
stopped me.
For the first time I saw him
pale and trembling:
–‘On the radio…
Do you know…

I understood.
I did not want
to understand.
I did not want!
And I could not assume
not to understand.
He kept quiet.
My tears
would not stop.
Thus they sombred
before the orphaned daughter.

And since then,
wherever I go,
respect for me
has doubled.
And everyone
something cherished,
about my

–‘Excuse me!
Our names
I warn them
hundreds of times.
But this does not suppress
the bubbling
they invite me,
they welcome me.

Truly indeed,
I come
from the land
gave birth to
Georgi Dimitrov.
And irrespective
of our names-
we all are
his sons and daughters.

That’s why everywhere
in this huge wide-world,
we are greeted
with open hearts.
We cannot be
and homeless,
because we are
Georgi Dimitrov’s

Translated from the Bulgarian by
Dr. Rashmi Joshi
Reader in Bulgarian, University of Delhi

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