A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Quinterview 18

Here's The Passionate Transitory's eighteenth quinterview — this time with Bulgarian poet Ivanka Mogilska.

TPT: What does poetry really mean to you?

IVANKA MOGILSKA: What my leg or my arm mean to me...

Ivanka Mogilska


George said...

How nice it is to discover the young Bulgarian poet, Ivanka Mogilska. Her poetry is wonderfully spare, trenchant, and thought-provoking. I also really enjoyed this interview. To recognize that silence is "also poetry talk" is quite insightful. And what poet or lover of poetry could disagree with her observations about the healing power of poems. To "reconcile with the world or with myself" — consciously or unconsciously, that is one of the great attractions of poetry for me.

Ruth said...

Wonderful. I agree with George about Ivanka's poems. She is deft with metaphor, and I especially love "Imagine, My Darling" for the imagery of aging. Fantastic.

A very good interview too. I completely agree with Ivanka that the power of words can change a dozen people, and then help another dozen people feel the beauty of live, and that this is as important as anything. What a terrific reminder.

Thank you, Robert.

The Solitary Walker said...

I agree with you both. Ivanka's poems say something strikingly well in just a few lines — not always an easy thing to do. She doesn't overwork the metaphor or over elaborate the image, but gets it just right, I think.

John Zorn said...

It's wonderful to see poetry from Bulgaria appearing in English.

Yet I wonder if the act of translation here, however competent, drains something from these poems.

Poem one - The Day Dissolves, is in the spirit of haiku for its focus on the intensely, or better, the wholly observed moment. This promises much yet the last two lines are a disappointment, for there is a loss of energy or momentum and the poem goes out with a whimper.

Poem two, 'Sky', again begins with such possibility and also my anticipation, yet it too fades away at the last.

Poem three 'Imagine' seems to me to be effortful or strained in construction, and I don't find the pencil simile to be a happy one.
The poem is inevitably a young person's view of old age which is a little clichéd. Therefore it does not have a generous or more importantly, an accurate vision of old age. It inclines towards caricature and this hurts the poem.

The question of translation may be important for these poems. I cannot know. Writing poetry is not easy, and I think that in future times Ivanka will offer some insightful poetry. I look forward to it and work from other Bulgarian writers.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I think she's a very promising writer, John, on the evidence here. I beg to differ with you about the dying fall in the first two poems — I think the 'anticlimax' works rather well, and is in keeping with the wistful nature of what comes before.

John Zorn said...

Interesting that we both recognise the 'anticlimax' and also discover differing interpretations.

I'm glad to hear an opposing view, a fruitful view. I will re-read with your comment in mind and also remember that poetry is a social act in the presentation, the interpretation and the discussion.