Dostena Anguelova

“Bird or Old Man” translated from Bulgarian by Holly Karapetkova 
May 23, 2023 Anguelova Dostena

Dostena Anguelova translated from Bulgarian by Holly Karapetkova 



Bird or Old Man



He arrived with a bag full of fog.

Feathers covered his face up to his eyes.

“Was that a bird or an old man,”
people will ask, but he was a man.


As I watched
feathers slipped down his face

like snow from a mountain.


In the valleys at the end of his nose


(a rock)


two lakes dissolved into sky.
It was too late to leave,
his lips upon my lips.
When I awoke and searched for him,


I saw beauty


by one bird and one old man,


I saw beauty
where birds and old men were blooming.



Птица или старец



Дойде с една чанта пълна с мъгли.
Перушина покриваше лицето му чак до очите.

“Птица или старец”, ще рекат хората, но беше мъж.


Щом го погледнах,
перушината от лицето му започна да слиза

като снегове от планината.


В проливите край на носа му




две езера разтваряха на небето.



Късно беше да си тръгна


навсякъде ме целуваше.


Когато се събудих и поисках да го видя отново


видях красотата,


преследваха я
една птица и един старец,

видях красотата,


по която растяха птици и старци.

Dostena Anguelova is a poet, anthropologist, journalist, and painter. She is the author of six volumes of poetry and has been published and translated widely throughout Europe and Latin America. She holds a PhD in Political Anthropology and is the author of the influential nonfiction texts Experts of Transition (2010) and Europe as a Hostage (2022).