By Blaga Dimitrova
Translated by Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman.
Write each of your poems
as if it were your last.
In this century, saturated with strontium,
charged with terrorism,
flying with supersonic speed,
death comes with terrifying suddenness.
Send each of your words
like a last letter before execution,
a call carved on a prison wall.
You have no right to lie,
no right to play pretty little games.
You simply won’t have time
to correct your mistakes.
Write each of your poems,
with blood — as if it were your last.
I love the Poems of Blaga. Blaga Dimitrova (1922–2003) was not only one of Bulgaria’s most loved and celebrated poet but also an important figure in her nation’s political life, becoming the first vice president of Bulgaria after the fall of the Communist government. This poem is from her book titled "Scars "translated by Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman.
I love the sense of urgency and certitude that this poem conveys considering the times we live in. Ars Poetica is a term meaning "The Art of Poetry" or "On the Nature of Poetry"
Note: Bulgaria was partly affected by Chernobyl Disaster by fallout in April and May 1986, with the detection of radioactive iodine, strontium and caesium.