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Dear mother,

I died

but I didn't go to heaven,

instead I arrived in Bdin*.

The postman

frequently passes by

on his rusty "Ukraine" bicycle**,

thus, contrary to all laws,

you will have news

from me.

To tell you the truth,

I haven't gone very far here either,

since I've never been much good with languages.

I have remained a poet.

But being a poet among the mute

is like being a gravedigger

in the Beyond.

(By the way,

I saw the graves of Levski and Botev***.)

My contemporaries

have long since become classics,

while I'm left munching sunflower seeds

on the edge of the Canon.

Otherwise, I tend the Tsar's sheep,

and thus earn my daily bread.

I have met two kinds of people.

Some say -

"We'll divert the river here!"

Others say -

"We'll divert the river there!"

My mind was torn,

I sat in the middle.

The water poured

over me.

As before,

I have no companions.


I walk alone on the banks of the river.

I look upstream,

waiting for it to bring

either some chest of drawers,

or some votive candle,

or a nest to build a home in,

or to meet the woman

I love.



* The medieval name of the town Vidin

** A brand of Russian bicycles

*** Vasil Levski, the leader of the national liberation movement in the 19th century, was betrayed and hanged; the location of his grave is unknown.

Hristo Botev, a poet and revolutionary, was killed in battle during the national liberation uprising in 1876; the location of his grave is unknown, as well.


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