I had not read Macedonian poetry. As often happens, our closest is the farthest. I cannot deny the skepticism with which I opened Slave Dimoski's book, The Last Manuscripts, nor can I deny the uncontrollable curiosity of meeting one close to our poetry (at least those were my expectations) and discovering how different it is.


At first glance, Bulgarians and Macedonians are like two brothers separated at birth. But these brothers grew up in different conditions and were raised by different mothers. Slavic Dimoski's poetry is fundamentally different from contemporary Bulgarian poetry, and I think it is far superior in many respects. I do not know how it sounds in the original and I will not comment on the rhythm and music. Instead, I will emphasize the meaning of the words in the verses and the meaning of the creation of such poetry itself.


The umbilical cord ballad


I carry around my neck
umbilical cord
bitten by two stones

when I was born in the mountains

now the language belongs to them

and to me the candle wick
which burns my account
and erases my birthmark

Sign Pisces. silence
in the cave lit.
of naked bodies: the dead
carries the dead man in his arms

I carry on my shoulders
umbilical cord
to bind me once more

bring me back

in the only one
blind light

to shine my cry.


The very first poem in the book - The Ballad of the Umbilical Cord - caught my attention and did not allow me to flip through the page for a long time. As much as I read it, there is always something misunderstood in it, or rather, I cannot find words to describe it. It remains in the sphere of sensations, of unconscious fascination, which leaves behind a truly aesthetic work of art.


Dimoski speaks of the umbilical cord as the root that a person always carries with him and inevitably binds him firmly to the tree from which he came. And although this umbilical cord is cut at birth, it remains symbolic in our lives, in the form of memories, unconditional love for parents, a sense of belonging to something passing that does not cease to smolder within us. The language - the word belongs to two stones, these are the two parents who gave this language to the lyric hero.


Identifying parents with cold and lifeless stone speaks of their death. However, this does not prevent the connection with them from being felt and the umbilical cord never broken. Language is also a similar bond that remains even when their parents are gone. The wick of the candle or life itself burns the profile, changes the face, the essence deletes the birthmark, but the person continues to carry some special signs that are unchanging with time - the zodiac, the character, the spiritual belonging to the past.


The phrase "cave lit by naked bodies" is extremely powerful. Why are naked bodies glowing and clothed ones not? Because naked bodies show the true essence, without the disguise that is needed before society. Clothes are factory products of human activity, they have no Divine charge. Only the living, natural nature brings the light of God and therefore only it can shine. This return to the womb, to the "only blind light," is a return to the lost sacred ray of light, because the womb cannot be dark - where life is born is a holy place. There God is present, there is the beginning and there the lyric hero tries to find his meaning in order to "shine my cry".


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In the breath


with the first sunbeam
one bird dies.
with every ray of sunshine
one bird dies.

in the air another life
there is no.

with the first lightning
one fish dies.
with every lightning
one fish dies.

in the water another life
there is no.

with the first darkness
one person dies.
with every new darkness
one person dies.

on earth another life

only in the breath
of the Father

Father, why did you abandon me

we left them behind
we all
the gullible and the blind

in your breath only yours.


The donkey from Jerusalem


It was too heavy a burden for me,
but I survived to the temple.

Then my lonely life
he continued, seemingly calm.

And I glorified him: I worshiped
in the light of each new day.

From there, I looked at Him with the crown of thorns
and with the bloody brow furrow.

And it happened. It happened what happened.
But, obviously - forget me.


A major theme in much of Dimoski's work is God, but not the abstract image that has lurked in Bulgarian poetry lately, but the living God. The one with whom you can talk and understand you, whom you can ask about the wrongs and the right path, whom you can ask for forgiveness and who you really feel with all your senses, because it is in you and everything around you.


I have chosen to present to you those verses of Dimoski that touched me the most and made me think about them and about myself. I focus on the poem The Donkey of Jerusalem, which I will not analyze - it speaks enough. I really liked the idea of ​​spiritualizing the donkey that brought Jesus to Jerusalem, and which Dimoski makes a direct witness to Christ's suffering on the cross, but strangely, the animal thinks just like a man and feels forgotten by Christ.




I live only one moment.
In that moment, I disappear and become
sound work.
This moment is too long for my death and mine
a fragile life
Only an hour buried in the snow
in the echo of the horizon in the brilliance introduced.
In the steep sides of the wavy mane.
This day is too long for my fragile life
for the rising voice. I live
only at this moment like grass.
As high as the sky, only one moment.
Only one last moment I have
when I have to wake up and shout
only the last and one moment when I call
when I start and when I finish
when I end with a full voice when I call
I live only one moment, only one hour
only on this day.


Light is a huge mystery


the light
is a huge secret
above the small earth

swing me, Lord
the wings are light
over blue water

the heavenly volcano
put out the glow
of the stars

the swings are invisible to me
until the world closed
in opaque

Translation of poetry: Roman Kisyov

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