Protest Poetry #2: “You cannot quench what’s not for quenching”

30.07.2013 § Leave a comment

Bilingual poetry in support of the protests in Bulgaria. English version from Anthology of Bulgarian Poetry (translated by Peter Tempest)

You cannot quench what’s not for quenching

We’re glad when on a sunny day
The golden glowing sun has risen,
But more so when a single ray
Of sunlight penetrates a prison.

A tiny star can point the way
To sailors travelling the ocean,
A single spark begins a blaze
That sets all heaven in commotion.

The fire that burned John Huss shone bright,
The universe at large enlightening,
And on a stormy starless night
More fearsome is each flash of lightning.

Tyrants, your struggle is in vain!
You cannot quench what’s not for quenching!
And from the light you quench today
Springs a volcano, fire belching.

Here all things die, decay and rot –
Defeated men, those who defeat you,
Thrones, kingdoms share a common lot,
You die, as do the worms that eat you.

Light, light alone is timeless and
In chaos – lasting revelation!
It was with light the world began,
In light the world shall find salvation.

Try, bury it! Rays brighter still
Shall from the dark grave be reflected.
The light you in Prometheus kill
Shall in Voltaire be resurrected.

And if the sun should cease to dwell
In this fair heaven that delights us,
One of us shall descend to Hell
And bring a firebrand back to light us!

Ivan Vazov, 1883

Не се гаси туй, що не гасне

За нас е радост, слънце златно
в навъсен ден когато бляска,
но лучът му грей по-приятно
през някоя тъмнична рязка.

Една звездица – и тя тоже
моряка води сред морето,
едничка искра нявга може
пожар да дигне до небето.

Огънят, в който Хус изчезна,
огря вселената по-ясно,
в нощ мрачна, бурна и беззвездна
светкавицата грей ужасно.

Тирани, всуе се морите!
Не се гаси туй, що не гасне!
Лучата, що я днес гасите,
тя на вулкан ще да порасне.

Тук всичко мре, изтлява, гние
и тез, що бдят, и тез, що падат,
престоли, царщини и вие
и червите, що вас изядат.

Едната светлина е вячна –
една във хаоса грамадни!
Със нея тоя свят се начна,
със нея няма да пропадне.

Във мрачен гроб фърлете нея –
тя повеч блясък ще се пръсне,
убийте я във Прометея –
тя във Волтера ще възкръсне.

И ако слънцето изчезне
от тия небеса приветни,
то някой в ада ще да влезне,
главня да вземе, да ни светне!

Иван Вазов, 1883

N.B. To my language-learning readers, the original Bulgarian text is archaic and should not be used in parallel text studies.

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Protest Poetry #2: “You cannot quench what’s not for quenching” at Blazing Bulgaria.

meta

%d bloggers like this: