CAPRICCIO FOR GOYA
Konstantin Pavlov
Translated from the Bulgarian by Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman



PASTORAL

I won't be nasty anymore,
nor provocative.
I will choose my means and enemies with care.

Bye-bye Sofia,
I am going back to nature!

In Kurilo, I have a nice little house—
I will mend the old fence,
and live there quietly, invisible.
In the winter, I will meditate.
In the summer, I will raise . . .
What will I raise?
Only snakes dart in the weeds.
I will raise snakes
instead of carrier pigeons.
You can achieve anything with goodness.
They say that snakes become very attached
to their masters.
I will send them
as a small favor
to my enemies.

1960



IT WAS THE 20TH CENTURY

Humanity,
bid your last farewell.
Your time has come.
What will you take
with you into nothingness—
two or three poems?
A couple of melodies?
And those, imperfect?
Let the rest burn.
It would only be just.
Nature, mother,
rest now—
if the rupture
of your last leave-taking
hasn't killed you.
Life will erase the memories-wounds
of your cruelest
and most duplicitous
offspring—Homo Sapiens.
And no one will grieve,
and no one should grieve.
Only sadness—
two or three atoms,
the absurd love
of a few surviving dogs—
will drift
towards infinity,
into nothingness
like a last,
unmerited requiem.

1982

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