Iana Boukova

Iana Boukova

Iana Boukova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and has a degree in Classics from Sofia University. She has published in Bulgarian two books of poetry, a collection of short stories and a novel as well as the translations of more than 10 collections and anthologies of modern Greek poetry, the Sappho’s Fragments, the collected poetry of Catullus and the Pythian Odes by Pindar.

She has lived in Greece since 1994 where she has collaborated with a number of literary and cultural magazines. In 2006 the Athens publishing house Ikaros published her book of poetry Minimal Garden. As a member of the platform Greek Poetry Now she takes part in various actions and public readings. She is one of the members of editors board of FRMK, a biannual journal on poetry, poetics and visual arts.

Iana Boukova’s poems and short stories have been translated in English, French, Spanish, German, Arabian and several other languages and included in various anthologies.

Theban Citizenship

(monologue on high shoes)

Twelve o’clock in the machine of summer
when it gasps and spits out embers
And look the harvest passed with its black
and wide wings
to scythe my beloved to feed
to remember me
And who would believe the prophets
when they said
troubled times and heavy rains were coming
Sand came
and buried us up to the neck
(And where have you been
my four-legged shadow
you intercept me where I hurt most)
Noon I said
Our governors glance at their watches
the hour of destruction
And my heels break on the stone

And who would believe the prophets
when they spoke in tears
They grew thirsty and drank their beards
They grew hungry and their stars gnawed
the paths

This is what happens to prophets
I just wanted to say about a place
where prophecies come true
and that’s why I mention Thebes

© Translated from Bulgarian by Jonathan Dunne

The Beautiful Thief

His great-grandfather it was
a well-buried treasure
still from Turkish times
One of his little cousins
could fly
they called her a swallow
his family tree ended in heaven
however wolves devoured his relations
when they went down to the village
one summer’s eve
Since then it’s smelled
of burning rubber on All Souls
Recently planes pass low
over the houses
cracks appear in the walls
in the windows – reflections
some faces with quivering cheeks
as if trying to cry
And they say it’s not easy for him to live
with the forest in his mirror
and only a well-sharpened name
to drive away the winter
and wound his bread
And they say
with the hunters in your heels
where to run
Those who meet him
surely know they are lost
– tomorrow’s diamonds
today are just coals under our feet –
more superstitious people touch him even.

© Translated from Bulgarian by Jonathan Dunne

Published with the permission of Iana Boukova