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Descendant


No portraits of my grandfathers are kept

fixed in a family picture-book.

I know nothing of the testaments they left,

The lives they led, their souls, their looks.

 

But I sense the wandering, self-willed beat

of the ancient blood of all my kin.

Its raging rouses me from sleep,

it draws me to our first-found sin.

 

Perhaps some grandmother — dark-eyed,

with silken pantaloons and turban —

escaped at darkest night to ride

with an alien, fair-featured Khan.

 

Perhaps across the Danubian Plain

hooves came drumming on the chase.

Yet they were saved from being slain

for the wind smoothed our their every trace.

 

Perhaps because of this I'm gripped

by lands unseized by human eyes,

by horses that fly at the crack of the whip,

the wind-splashed, free-affirming cry.

 

Perhaps along my way I'll falter

and lies and sin may show my worth.

But I am, indeed, your faithful daughter,

by bond of blood, my mother earth.

 

Tranlated by Kevin Ireland

 

 

 

Descendent

 

To Mania M.

 

There are no portraits of ancestors,

nor any family book in my clan

and I'm unaware of their legacies,

their faces, souls, lives.

 

But I sense the pulsing inside

of ancient, rebellious wanderer's blood.

It stirs me angrily from my sleep

and leads me back to original sin.

 

Perhaps a dark-eyed grandmother

in silken shalwars and turban,

has run away in the depths of the night

with a foreign light-haired khan.

 

Perhaps in Danubian plains

they heard the horses clatter

and the wind that erased their traces

saved them both from the dagger.

 

Perhaps that's the reason I love

plains too vast for the eye,

horses under a cracking whip,

free voices poured into the wind.

 

Perhaps I am sinful and cunning,

perhaps halfway I'll break —

But I am your faithful daughter,

Motherland with same blood as mine.

 

Tranlated by Brenda Waker & Belin Tonchev

 


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