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Black Sun Again

From what imagined kingdom, from what abundant grave
that shelters you in the evening and casts you out in the morning
do you come, oh black sun, and pour down with black rains
like a dire threat tolling for the world.

Beast eat beast, branch breaks branch.
Trunk beats trunk, root braids with root,
a falling star rends the sky with fire,
the earth wars with the sky, the dead with the living.

What is the imagined kingdom, that sepulchre of the wind
whence a three-headed demon ogles us greedily,
in this place of crime, a river with no head, no bed,
in this black soil, this field of human palm.

What is that land that we name after us
with a name copied from the walls of abysses and ridges,
o black sun, black summer, black winter,
here we are both covered with sun-scorched leaves.

Aco Šopov, Reader of the Ashes (Гледач во пепелта), 1970
Translated by Zoran Ančevski and Dragi Mihajlovski

Again Black Sun

From what imagined kingdom do you come, from what ornate tomb,
which takes you in at nightfall and casts you out at morning—
where are you from, black sun, who pour down black rains,
which toll for the world like the last bell of warning?

Is beast devouring beast? Are old branches colliding,
trunk striking trunk, wild root against root?
Does a falling star rip the sky open with fire?
Does earth war with heaven, the living with the dead?

What is that imagined kingdom, that tomb of gusting wind,
where a three-headed shade thrice hungrily eyes us,
in this place of crime, of dry water without watershed,
in this black soil contained in a single human handbreadth?

What is this land that we bestow our name on,
copied from all the walls, all the darknesses and heights?
Black sun, who are black in winter and summer,
here both of us are covered in leaves of fallen sunlight.

Aco Šopov, Reader of the Ashes (Гледач во пепелта), 1970
Translated by Rawley Grau and Christina Kramer, 2022