“the plastic bags of your winter” by Ivan Dimitrov, translated by Jonathan Dunne

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Another poem inspired by the Sozopol Fiction Seminar, this time by Ivan Dimitrov, one of the Bulgarian fellows. Ivan is a multi-talented young Bulgarian author, who has published a novel, Животът като липсваща лъжица (Life as a Missing Spoon, Altera 2010), and a book of short stories, Местни чужденци (Local Foreigners, Ars 2010). He also has a very curious eye as a photographer. Some of his photographs can be seen on the following blog. Catch up with his writing here.

My only query with this poem was how to translate “найлонови торбички” – nylon bags, meaning plastic bags. I tried to dress it up and add some meaning – carrier bags – but Dick Arndt, a US cultural diplomat who also attended the 2010 Seminar, kindly informed me he didn’t know what they were! So here goes…

найлоновите торбички на зимата ти

ти попита как те искам

като есен, пролет или лято

като зима, казах

ти ненавиждаш зимите

пролетта е толкова цветна

и изпълнена с ухания

лятото е жълто и червено

есента покрива полетата

с окапали листа

и само през зимата полетата

са студ, покрит с найлонови


(торбичките са там

и в другите сезони

но са добре прикрити)

вместо да се криеш

предпочитам да се взирам

в найлоновите торбички

на зимата ти

the plastic bags of your winter

you asked how I want you

like autumn, spring or summer

like winter, I said

you loathe winter

spring is so colourful

so full of smells

summer is yellow and red

autumn covers the fields

with fallen leaves

only in winter are the fields

cold, covered with plastic


(the bags are there

in other seasons as well

but hidden away)

instead of you hiding

I prefer to stare

into the plastic bags

of your winter

Posted by Jonathan Dunne

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