SCARS
Blaga Dimitrova
Translated from the Bulgarian by Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman


June 2003
Bilingual edition
Paper | 163pp | 6x9"
ISBN 1-930214-030
$9.95

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Dimitrova's poems range from some of the finest love poetry written in Bulgarian to philosophical and political verse, from emotional effusions to profound meditation, from her spirit's youth to its maturity. In her verse, Dimitrova has evinced her closeness to the greatest women poets of our century, Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, Gabriela Mistral, Wislawa Szimborska, Desanka Maksimovich and, above all her compatriots Elisaveta Bagriana and Dora Gabe. It is from these two, it would seem that Dimitrova has inherited the combination of feminine delicacy and rebellious independence of spirit.

As Alexander Shurbanov notes in his introduction: for Dimitrova poetry, motherhood, love and death are parts of a continuum, elemental truths of human experience. It is this poetic philosophy of existence that Dimitrova weaves from the unsolved problems of her life. Her poems sublimate its conflicts. At this height of contemplation, their reality is no more than a point of departure but it is never relinquished. Her social and political concerns are still there, but in these poems they open a larger vision. The path of poetry has always been a gradual ascent—like the flight of a bird. A bird's view of the human predicament is not easy to attain. But it is the gift the poet offers.

Blaga Dimitrova, born in 1922, one of the most popular and loved writers in Bulgaria, was vice president of her country in the first democratic government after the fall of communism. She is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, novels, plays, and essays. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. She has won the Herder Prize, the Hristo G. Danov Prize, the German Krugge Prize, and was awarded the French Medal of Merit for Freedom.


Endorsements:
"Your poems. Are they difficult?"

She [Blaga Dimitrova] smiled and, unaccustomed to speaking English, answered carefully, drawing a line in the air with two delicately pinched fingers holding an imaginary pen: "They are difficult—to write."

He laughed, startled and charmed. "But not to read?"

She seemed puzzled by his laugh, but did not withdraw her smile, though its corners deepened in a defensive, feminine way. "I think," she said, "not so very."
John Updike (in Beck: A Book)

Blaga Dimitrova can turn thought into poetry, meditation into rhythm and flavor, colors into ideas, judgment into fragrance, vision into ethical statement. Seldom has a woman's writing been at once more cerebral and more sensual.
Julia Kristeva

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