Vladimir Sabourin: Workers VI

Workers VI 

With a helmet swept off the head the strap cutting into the throat
Weighing you down to the earth’s lap you’re not her son
The petrol field is not mother earth but you’ve lain backwards
Over clods of earth lit up like ores from the all-enveloping
In this artificial heaven paraffin film huge precious stones
In the disconsolate garden of the pleasures cowl of midas
Covering you tin man on the road to the emerald city shoved away
By the eruption in a stupor on your back with the vague hope of getting a heart

You contemplate in an involuntary unproductive second
Of motor paralysis but with consciousness preserved
A condition from which in principle you’re deprived in fact for you it is
Forbidden without you’re knowing it’s forbidden and you’re deprived
Simultaneously in a semi-fetal position and fallen on your back
On the road to damascus you see the ghost of anaerobic decomposition
Of remains from organisms mixed with mud buried beneath a heavy
Sediment layer condensed from monstrous heat and pressure

To pour out in the desert from the petrol captation
And so the rocks don’t turn into loaves.

Vladimir Sabourin

Translation: Christopher Buxton

New Social Poetry Anthology

The English translation of the poem has been published first in the book New Social Poetry – The Anthology (CreateSpace 2018).


Vladimir Sabourin

Vladimir Sabourin is a Bulgarian poet, essayist, translator and professor for literature of French-Cuban and Bulgarian origin. He was born 1967 in Santiago de Cuba. Doctoral dissertation on “Introduction to Metaphysics of Humboldt’s Language Philosophy” (1994). Habilitation with the monograph “The Origin of the Spanish Picaresque Novel: The Genealogy of Realism” (2006). Doctor of Philological Sciences (2010) with the dissertation “Mysticism and Modernity. The Spanish Catholic Mystique of the Golden Age” (Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”). Professor of Ancient and Western European Literature at the University of Veliko Tarnovo “St. St. Cyril and Methodius “. Published his first poetry book “Sex Shop” in 1993, his recent book “Trotsky’s Remains” (2017) is a collection of poems from his so far ten books with poetry. He has also published six books with essays, and numerous articles with literary criticism, and an autobiography. He translated Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller, Rainer Maria Rilke, Sarah Kirsch, Hugo Ball, Fernando Pessoa, Jorge Manrique, Nicanor Parra, Roberto Bolaño, Vicente Huidobro, Virgilio Piñera, Ezra Pound, Sylvia Plath, Joseph Brodsky, Velimir Chlebnikov, and Archilochus. Sabourin was guest lecturer at the University of the Federal Province of Saar, Saarbrücken and the University of California, Berkeley. Recipient of the Goethe Scholarship in Weimar, and stipendiat of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Federal Ministry of Science and Communication of the Republic of Austria (BMWV) and the Robert Bosch Foundation. He was Artist-in-Residence (2011) at Museumsquartier, Vienna. In 2016, he published the “Manifesto of the New Social Poetry” and founded the literary movement “New Social Poetry”. His personal blog contains his own poems, translations and essays.

Christopher Buxton

Christopher Buxton graduated in English and American literature at the University of Kent. He first came to Bulgaria in 1977 as an English teacher in Burgas. He has had two novels published in Bulgaria, Far from the Danube and Prudence and the Red Baron and has also written a number of articles for Vagabond Magazine on contemporary Bulgarian social, cultural and political issues. Some of his translations of Bulgarian classic literary texts can be found on his blog. They include stories by Yovkov and Elin Pelin, poetry by Kiril Christov, Ivan Vazov, Vladimir Bashev, and Christo Fotev. He has recently published two books with the poetry of Peyo Yavorov and Dimcho Debelyanov and an anthology with classical Bulgarian poems in his own translation. He is a committee member of the British Bulgarian Friendship Society. Together with his wife, he is running Black Sea Oleander Press, a small independent publishing house.

Photo credit: Antoaneta Kisselincheva – a-specto.bg; Christopher Buxton

This blog post is part of #BulgarianLiteratureMonth

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