Can you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
Yes. It was a school task. We had to write a poem about the spring. I remember it because of my mother who was pouring a bottle of water down the sink as a hint for the word "bubbling". I got the hint after one hour of almost crying.
And how old you were when you wrote it?
Fourth grade, maybe. I didn't want to get involved in writing poetry about the spring. The only thought bubbling in my mind was how to escape and play outside.
And what it was about?
My first real poem appeared quite a bit later. Its name is "Classical". I wanted to express the feeling of the whole of human life squeezed into thirteen volumes of collected verse. Such kinds of overbold attempts are typical for anyone starting out – yet the poem it is still one of my favourites.
Name a favourite poem or two . . .
I first fell in love with Bulgarian and Greek poetry. I know many poems by heart but unfortunately I can't remember any of their names.
. . . and a few of your favourite poets.
Walt Whitman, Nizar Qabbani, Costas Montis, Marina Tsvetaeva, György Petri, Hristo Fotev, and lately Vera Pavlova and Razmik Davoyan.
Do you talk about poetry with your friends or is it a secret part of your life?
Sometimes we talk about poetry, sometimes we read it – and sometimes we just stay silent. This is also poetry talk. I can’t keep secret such a major part of my life.
Do you write poetry for yourself, or for others, or for both?
I always write for myself. I have an idea or tale which I have to tell in order to reconcile with the world or with myself. I love to hear the rhythm of the tidy words before I write them down. The others, the readers, they come after the poem is written, edited, read a thousand times. I believe all people get excited by the same things and I want to offer them my point of view. Actually then . . . it appears I write for others, too.
Is it important to you if your poems get published or not?
Yes, it's important for me. Sharing my excitement with as many people as possible magnifies the chance of this excitement to live on and change the life of someone else, even for a second.
Do you think poetry is important in the global scale of things or just a pleasant, indulgent hobby like needlework or trainspotting?
Poetry could be a hobby, I guess. I don't know. Words are dangerous and they are not to be trifled with. Poetry is one of the most ancient arts and it will be important for as long as open-minded people exist. Despite the difficulties of imagining one poem changing the world, what if it is able to change a dozen people, and then they help another dozen to feel the beauty of life? It's important enough.
What does poetry really mean to you?
What my leg or my arm mean to me . . .
Is poetry better than sex?
Sex is just another way to make poetry.