Holly Karapetkova

Dostena Lavergne

Holly Karapetkova Translates Dostena Lavergne

Poetry in Translation Issue
Volume 16:3, Summer 2015

The Mourners

In that room with so many women: his mother his wife his mothers his wives,
in the harem with lemon-colored walls, white scarves on their heads
for their bodies to leaven

he was rising in their hearts and in their dough in every sob
the One bloomed with cyclamen wreath
–– remember the flower on the white-washed wall in Serifos.

Take a sip of wine swallow the black seed knead the fire rip off the sun
thread it onto a necklace his seed at the circular dance wave the sheet
stained with sunset for the young girls to weep, the mothers.

How the rooster’s eyes bulge, blinded last spring.

But still he searches to glimpse the knife.

Why is the grass so green……

……let me stay with the women in the sky in their white garments
let me wipe my mouth stained with raspberries.


В онази стая с многото жени: майка му жена му майките му жените му,
в харема със лимонени стени и бели забрадки на главите
телата им да втасват

възкръсваше в сърцата и в тестото им във всяко задъхване от сълза
разцъфваше Оня с цикламен венец
– спомни си цветето на беловаросания зид в Сефрос.

Ах, пийнете вино черната семка преглътнете умесете заревото изтръгнете
слънцето нанижете на гердан семето му на хорото развейте чершафа със кръвта
на залеза девойките да заплачат, майките.

Ах, петелът как е ококорен, ослепял е миналата пролет.

А още търси, милият да зърне ножа.

Ах, тревата защо е толково зелена…

… с жените на небето да остана в бялата им дреха да изтрия устата ми опръскана
с малини.


Originally appeared in International Poetry Anthology, Slovenia, 2007.


Holly Karapetkova is the author of Words We Might One Day Say (Washington Writers' Publishing House, 2010). She is the author of over twenty books and graphic stories for children and young adults. Karapetkova's poetry, prose, and translations from the Bulgarian have appeared in Mid-American Review, 32 Poems, and Huffington Post. She is an Associate Professor of English at Marymount University and lives in Arlington, VA.

Dostena Lavergne is a poet, anthropologist, and journalist currently based in Strasbourg, where she serves as the Vice Editor-in-Chief of the cultural magazine Saisons d'Alsace. She is the author of two 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 the Transition (2010).