Do you remember
the sea, the engines,
and the holds full of wet dark
and that great longing for the Philippines
and for the big stars over Famagusta?
Can you think of one sailor
who did not look thirstily into the distance
to where the breath of tropic winds
blew softly in the dusk?
Do you remember how, in us,
little by little
the last scraps of hope and faith in goodness
and in man
in the romantic
and in empty
Do you remember
how very quickly
we got caught in the trap of life?
When we came to our senses
it was too late.
We were trapped.
Like animals in a cage
our eyes shone
begging for mercy?
We were young,
we were so young!
a sort of hatred
began to take hold of our hearts.
no, like leprosy
destroying our souls,
knitting its cruel nets
and dark hopelessness,
creeping into our blood, howling menace,
and it was all so early, all so very early...
And there -
high in the sky
the wings of seagulls
The sky still glittered
and still it was all
blue and boundless,
still sails sank slowly
over the horizon
and masts disappeared in the distance, but we had gone blind.
For me all this belongs to the past - it is unimportant.
But I shared with you the straw on the same plank bed,
and I feel I have to tell you
how hopeful and how optimistic I am now.
This is what stops me
from putting a hole
the bitterness in my heart
into a force
which is in full flight
And it will bring us back to the Philippines,
and the big stars over Famagusta
and the joy
which has diminished in our hearts
and the love gone dead for the engines
for the vast blue of the sea
where the tropic breezes breathe.
It is night now.
The engines are singing
a song with a beat
suggesting warmth, faith.
If only you could know how I love life now!
And how I hate
It all seems clear to me,
as clear as it is that the sun will rise tomorrow,
that with our heads weґll break the ice.
And that the sun on the dark horizon,
So let it single
like those of a small butterfly!
I will not curse
because I know
we all have to die.
But to die
when the earth is shaking off
the poisonous mold,
when millions of people rise again,
that is a song,
yes, it is a song.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Letter by Nikola Vaptsarov )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
Poem of the Day
- I'll Never Forget, Michael P. McParland
- stealing my hostess' twinkie then givin'.., Bull Hawking
- DERBY AT THE GYM, RIC S. BASTASA
- and then the body aches., RIC S. BASTASA
- to each his own..., RIC S. BASTASA
- somehow, you keep thinking, has God forg.., RIC S. BASTASA
- two frogs jumping each other @ sueinlove.., Bull Hawking
- Come fly to me my Muse of love divine, Erato
- Who Takes The Next Step?, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Stick Around, Leah Ayliffe