Sunday, May 6, 2018

one for the old master Shi-tou

Old Shitou knew, no matter how fast you row, how deep you bow,
cow dung or snow, high and low, it all comes to the big ho in da ground,
damp or dry, it does dampen one's enthusiasm does it not—for 
it all go-e the shitou way. 

Bo Gregoric
Copyrights Reserved

My Chocolate Apocalpyse

I am your chocolate apocalypt, your Godzilla crisis,
the eye of the storm, the revolution long time coming—
I am that storm in a teacup, the Uranus moving into Taurus
Every three-and-eighty years I come to mess up
Your sterile world, to turn it upside and inside out
Releasing the prisoners, the wind of change unstoppable,
the walls collapsing, the liberty, o, magnificient, brilliant
Liberty beckoning the freed slaves—hopefully
rid of rancor and vengefulness. 

Copyright Reserved,
Bo Gregoric 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Momcilo Nastasijevic: The Quietude of Trees

Momčilo Nastasijević:

Mirovanje drveća

Study of Trees, Ink on paper, b.g. 

Sve boli. Mili druzi,
rad' mene mirujete.
Trepetom ne ozledi me ni list.

Tiho i tiše,
umin iz rana
ovaploti me u reč.

Celivam stabla,
braću moju redom,
milujem ožiljke nežno.

Mili druzi,
boli li kad vam
sekira zaseče telo?

I umine li,
kad za vas neme
ja mukotrpan kriknem?

Ako je skrnavljenje,
prostite, srce mi je dano.

Rad' mene mirujete:
tiho i tiše,
umin iz rana.
To mukotrpno,
druzi, za vas neme,

šapatom visinama
kazujem blagu reč.

The Quietude of Trees

All hurts. My fellows,
because of me you stay quiet.
With tremble, not a leaf can hurt me

Quiet and quieter still,
from the wounds ceased
incarnated into a word.

The trees I caress,
brothers of mine in order,
caressing the scars gently.

My dear brothers,
does it hurt
when axe strikes into one's body?

And does it cease,
when for you with no voice
of pain full I shout out?

If tis' a sacrilege,
forgive, for Heart has been given me.

Because of me you remain quiet:
quiet and quieter still,
from the wounds ceased.
Thus full of pain,
comrades, for you with no voice,

whispering to heights
I speak the gentle word.

Momčilo Nastasijević (1894 –1938) was a Serbian modernist poet, novelist and dramatist. His poetry is imbued with deeply felt pantheist sensibility; his prose work often makes the use of fantasy & horror elements from the West Balkans folklore (e.g. My Cousin's Gifts).

Monday, January 29, 2018

Matej Bor A Traveler Went Through the Atomic Age

Matej Bor:
Šel je popotnik skozi atomski vek

painting by Kaspar, Friedrich

Šel je popotnik skozi atomski vek
in je na tržnicah, kjer prodajajo vse,
tudi marelice in šmarnice
zgodaj pomladi,
prodajal svoje srce.
In ko ga je razprodal,
je rekel: Kaj sedaj?
Vprašal je kanarčka: Ali naj kupim tebe?
- Kaj boš z menoj zdaj, ko nimaš srca?
Vprašal je psa: Ali naj kupim tebe?
- Pretepal bi me zdaj, ko nimaš srca?
Vprašal je zvezdo: Ali naj kupim tebe?
- Kam me boš spravil zdaj, ko nimaš srca?
In nazadnje je sklenil, da si pozida
tam na obronkih atomskega veka.
In tako je tudi storil.
In ko so ljudje hodili mimo in vpraševali:
Kdo živi v tej hišici,
da nikoli ne odpre ne oken ne vrat?
je rekla hišica:
Človek, ki se je skril vame,
ker ga je sram, da je prodal svoje srce.
- Gotovo ga je prodal slabo,
so dejali in pognali svoje limuzine
naprej skozi atomski vek.

A traveler went through the atomic age
and on markets, where everything is sold,
even apricots and lillies of the valley
early in the Spring,
he was selling his heart.
And once it was sold,
he had said: What next?
He asked of a canary: Can I buy you?
What will you with me now that you have no heart?
He asked of a dog: Can I buy you?
You'd beat me up now that you have no heart?
Of a star he asked: Or should I buy you?
And where would you put me now that you have no heart?

In the end he decided he will build himself
a tiny house
there on the edges of the atomic age.
And so he had done.
And when people would be walking by asking:
Who dwells in this tiny house,
hardly opening either windows or doors?
the house would have replied:
A man who hides inside,
the one ashamed that he sold his heart.
He must have sold it cheaply,
they'd answer and off they'd go, firing their limos,
onward through the atomic age.

Matej Bor (1913-1993): was an important Slovene modernist poet and a member of the modest Slovene anti-fascist resistance during WW2.

This allegorical poem was written in the 1950's and was part of the eponymous collection. Curiosly enough, it has been translated into English language twice, both, I believe, in British editions. 

Translated from the Slovenian

by Boris Bo Gregoric