BOZHIDAR PANGELOV is a Bulgarian poet and author of four poetry books. Although there are always difficulties translating poetry from one language to another, we think the poem offered here reads well in English, and demonstrates perfectly the mysterious, soulful nature of the poems of his we've so far enjoyed.
Can you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
I just remember some couplets from my first poem. It didn’t have a title.
And how old you were when you wrote it?
It was forty years ago. My friend and I were in love with the same girl. That’s why we decided to write a poem.
And what it was about?
It was a philosophical love poem for the idealized image of Beatrice. Naturally it came as free verse.
Name a favourite poem or two . . .
Very difficult question. My list of favourite poems becomes longer and longer. Some of the titles are: "East Coker" (TS Eliot), "Waiting For The Barbarians" (CP Cavafy), "Speech-Grille" (Paul Celan).
. . . and a few of your favourite poets.
TS Eliot, FG Lorca, Paul Celan, Giorgos Seferis, CP Cavafy, other Greek poets. Hermetic poets.
Do you talk about poetry with your friends or is it a secret part of your life?
With my friends I talk about poetry, but not in my workplace. To be a poet doesn’t bring you positive dividends at all.
Do you write poetry for yourself, or for others, or for both?
Poetry is always private. Of course it would be great if it is shared and "touches" somebody.
Is it important to you if your poems get published or not?
I am curious about my publications, but it’s not my main priority to see the poems published.
Do you think poetry is important in the global scale of things or just a pleasant, indulgent hobby like needlework or trainspotting?
Despite all the different methods of contemporary communication, poetry is still being written and will continue to be published. Writing poetry is connected to the deepest feelings of the soul. Publishing poetry means connecting to the whole world.
What does poetry really mean to you?
A way tо express the inexpressible.
Is poetry better than sex?
It's the transformation of prose into art.