Panegyric To Women

Hristo Fotev (b. 1934)

Hristo Fotev (b. 1934)

Oh those who blessed my lonely life,

those who so graciously approached me, –

you made me live and made me strive,

… you taught me how to love and coached me…

And just in front of me in gloomy silence

… or singing like a thousand bells, your breasts so coy

and free of violence were made of salt and dreamy smells…

And every time I heard your laughter I felt it tremble in my throat,

I loved you nights before and after,

you gave me breath, you made me float..

And as I ran throughout the night

and rains that washed your fragrant faces,

the rains that shattered you with spite,

you were still there –

beside myvagrant paces…

I loved you all in nights that scared me,

I loved you all in days that shone,

your hands,

your thighs that never failed me,

You dazzled me with clothes

you’re just laughed at death…

still bearing your voice that conquered heart of stone.

Until the end of all the seasons

and when you also lost your youth,

your golden wombs, in spite of reason fruit…

wearing,

your hair,

your nails,

your bashful charm,

your jewelry,

your fear and strength you’re carrying –

a fortune gift to lonely sailor’s arm.

And in the world of glass and metal –

a barrack-

like and uniform,

without a taste and place to settle

I begged for mercy from the storm.

And you?

Your name I don’t remember,

accepted clemently my weakness,

your voice had cured me from surrender,

your charms had saved me from my sickness.

Don’t interrupt me!

I’m confessing!

I’ve been the weaker, worse, and hard to please,

but always man – a gratitude expressing

and placing stars before your knees…

Oh please, stay beautiful through all the seasons!

Please shine through ages and lost youth,

and let your wombs in spite of reason still laugh at death…

still bearing fruit.

To you, who came to me to stay,

who paced like music of a flute

I wanted so much more to say…

but now I can’t –

your love has made me mute!

Translated by Tatyana Maneva