When Annie and I got married in Pomorie, after the wedding we made our way to lay flowers at the statue of this most romantic of poets. Yavarov was a Bulgarian stereotype – a freedom fighter, sufferer of two doomed love affairs – one woman dying of consumption, the other shooting herself, victim of persecution at the hands of his compatriots, like so many other Bulgarian poets, he committed suicide.
His poems are intricate and so difficult to translate, but here are three simpler ones to give you a flavour.
I dreamt of you again tonight my darling
I dreamt of you –yearning still for me
Your head into my shoulder snuggling
A vivid flash made the darkness thrum
Your eyes – as far as my misted sight could see –
Burnt holes into the life to come
So long ago – those were days of glory –
Till you sensibly called time,
You were gorged and weary.
I wake up in impenetrable shade
And I cry – my tears run till the dawn –
For the end of you – the wretched part I played.
By Peio Yavarov translated by Christopher Buxton 2011-01-14
My hand didn’t shake, I gave it no thought,
I found and tore off the leech – that thirstily
Sucked, double-mouthed at my heart
There she is on the floor: stuck, where I hurled her
Soaked in blood….Amour – I knew her, my heart
Torn between love and hate.
There she is on the floor, the leech – thirstily
Glued and trembling: No longer is she
Wrapped round my heart, sucking double-mouthed
And I suffer silent…And is it for her so bitterly,
Is it for her it cries – in bloody floods
Of tears – my doubly wounded heart?
Yavarov translated by Christopher Buxton 2011
‘Neath the tender magic of an enchanted evening
And the two of us burning – don’t come too close.
In my arms I’ve taken you, whenever I want you,
Whole body I’ll cleave to you, so we will melt
Into blessed oblivion; Painful separation
Torn from myself, I’d come to know you.
Ah dreamed of evening draws a veil ‘cross our eyes
And the two of us melt – but keep further away…
I will have lost sight of you, once I no longer
Believe that because of you, we both shall burn
One by the other in torpor – and then I’ll feel
Myself so close, so very close to you.
Translated by Christopher Buxton 1979