Culture | Poetry and Music

New Poetry from Bulgaria: MARGARITA SERAFIMOVA


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This set includes poems about the anguished euphoria of passionate desire (No. 1), the visionary ontological promise of finding a soulmate (No. 8-9), the transformative power of interpersonal human dedication against the odds (No. 7), as well as poems from the islands of Milos and Ikaria in Greece (No. 3 and 10) and Lamu in Kenya (No. 4-6). The island poems evince a transcending connection to place, where a sense of ‘here and now’ quietly bursts into a breakthrough to the other side. No. 4 declares a stumbling upon a vibrancy of selfhood. No.2 stems from Cavafy’s “Unfaithfulness”, marking resolve to shed continued indignation at injustice as a constraint on inner freedom, which is, really, cosmic.”




Have I told you that when I look at you I ache inside?

My spleen aches, my lungs ache,

my heart, of course, aches constantly,

when I look at you it takes my breath away,

my stomache aches, and my bones ache too, with pining

when you are here.

The newest is that my skin aches, all of it,

on the inside, because on the outside

you bestow blessings on it.




Free Heroism

 Apollo himselfhad gone down to Troyand together with the Trojans had killed her son.

C.P. Cavafy

Nurse your anger, Tethis told me.

Mamma, I said, it has been several

thousand years of ire.

I am minded to disentangle myself.

Let the raging sun burn on

its circles of fire.

I have a destination beyond.


The tall arches of life, augustly refined as another era,

but present,

were standing above the springtime sea,

and were doorless.

Entry was free for whoever reached them,

into a space without antipode.


A path in a desert,

flowing was the sand with the wind.

I was walking in its eye.



The moon was spilling its yellow and white,

and the sky was the shell

of an unknown bird.


Flowing and ebbing tides, the prayers come,

and in between remain the colours

of that, which the eyes see –

which is beyond.


You Are an Egg

Nestled in my words, quiet, inert,

melding inside end with beginning,

congealing a rebirth

out of a circle.

We are winged,

even as we sit at this confined table,

hands not touching,

cut short by the contrast between silence

and speaking.


This morning, my heart was stirred before being,

and I, free between the shadow and the light,

saw an invisible wave.




If our hair mingles, if your vitality and mine blend,

if our lives interweave, physics will change,

and its first law will become freedom.


The First Day of Ikaria

The loved stones in a light arch

above the empty hearth under the searing sun

make, out of the ruin, a church.


321903_10150410146707012_557702366_oMargarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017, the Summer Literary Seminars Poetry Contest 2018 and the University Centre Grimsby International Literary Prize 2018; long-listed for the Erbacce Press Poetry Prize 2018 and the Red Wheelbarrow 2018 Prize, and nominated for Best of the Net 2018. She has three collections in Bulgarian. Her work appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip, Waxwing, Trafika Europe, European Literature Network, A-Minor, Poetry South, Great Weather for Media, Orbis, Nixes Mate, StepAway, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Mookychick, HeadStuff, Minor Literatures, Writing Disorder, Birds We Piled Loosely, Orbis, Chronogram, Noble/ Gas, Origins, The Journal, miller’s pond, Obra/ Artifact, Blue Mountain Review, Califragile, TAYO, Opiate, Squawk Back, Guttural, Punch, Tuck, Ginosko, etc. Visit:

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