Ivan Hristov

Ivan Hristov is a Bulgarian poet and literary researcher. He is the author of the poetry collections Farewell, Nineteenth Century (winner of the prize for best poetic debut from the National Southern Spring Competition 2002) and Bdin (winner of the national literary prize Svetlostruy 2006, in 2015 “Bdin” was published in Turkey), as well as the academic monograph The Sagittarius Circle and the Idea of the Native (2009). In 2013 his third poetry book American poems was published. In 2016 in Romania was published the book Bdin, followed by American poems which contains his last two poetry books. Since 2010, he has been a member of the organizing committee for the international Sofia: Poetics festival. He currently works at the Institute for Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

From “A Dictionary of Love”

 

A

Acacia

 

Your thighs – acacia

White, with a pleasant scent

Able to endure low

and high temperatures

Used for reinforcing

Steep hillsides swaths

With a deep root system

Reaching wet layers of soil

A precious honey-producing species

Transparent pale-greenish honey

Dark brown seeds

A flat follicle

Ripens at the end of summer

In the core of every stem

Two prickly thorns

 

 

I

Ivy

 

I am ivy

My leaves are hard,

green in winter, too,

varying in form

from shield to pointed star

My stalks are fitted

with tiny knots –

roots that have been transformed,

and I use them to clutch at you.

Contrary to the common view

I am not a parasite

my roots do not suck

your nutrients dry,

they only use you for support

my colors are greenish-yellow

My strange fruit ripens

at the end of winter, the beginning of spring

which is exactly the opposite

of other plants

I am only vulnerable to the worst cold snaps

My leaves should be

sprinkled regularly

and I should receive enough light

but don’t expose me

to direct sunlight

 

 

Jasmine

 

Oh beauty

Oh feminine temptation

Blessing and grace

Sensuality and freshness

Night of secrets

Which only the moon

Can see

in the morning

Jasmine arrows from Kama

at night

A garland in the sea of hair

In which I drown

Mercy

A confession of love

Cleopatra

Goes to meet

Mark Antony

In a boat

whose sails are covered in jasmine

 

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