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Bronislava Volkova
Nacionalidad:
República Checa
E-mail:
volkova@indiana.edu
Biografia

Bronislava Volkova

Bronislava Volková is a bilingual poet, translator, collagist, Professor Emerita of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Jewish Studies, Comparative Literature and former Director of the Czech Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. She went into exile from Czechoslovakia in 1974, taught at the Universities of Cologne and Marburg in West Germany, and subsequently at Harvard and University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Since 1982, she has been residing in Bloomington. She has published ten books of existential and metaphysical poetry in Czech and several bilingual (Czech-English) editions with her own collages in Explorer Editions and in Edwin Mellen Press, as well as a book of selected poems The Courage of the Rainbow in Sheep Meadow Press, New York, 1993. She is also the author of two books on linguistic and literary semiotics (Emotive Signs in Language, John Benjamis, Amsterdam, 1987 and A Feministst’s Semiotic Odyssey through Czech Literature, Edwin Mellen Press, 1997) and a large anthology of Czech poetry translations Up The Devil’s Back: A Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Czech Poetry (with Clarice Cloutier), 2008. In 2011, her collected poems were published in Czech Republic under the title Vzpomínky moře (The Sea Recalls) together with a sample of her visual work and a CD of her reading. Her poetry has been widely reviewed and translated into ten languages. Her scholarly interests include a wide variety of topics, such as Czech poetry, Czech popular culture, issues of exile, gender, race, nationalism, prejudice and emotive signs. Since 2000, she is active as a collagist and a director of multimedia performances of poetry. In 2009, she has received an “award for significant contribution to culture and scholarship” from the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in Prague and in 2012, she has received an award for lifetime poetic work and a long term work for the cultural exchange among the Slavs by the Syndicate of Bulgarian Teachers in Varna. In 2013, a book of her selected poems has been published in Bulgaria under the title Az sam tvojata sadba and in 2014 a Ukrainian edition appeared under the title Neprinalenist’. Currently, a Russian and Slovak edition are being prepared for publication.  More information is available at www.bronislavavolkova.com

 

Neprýštím ze země

                                   jako voda

a nestmívám se

                                   jako opona.

Mám duši ostříhanou

                                   dohola.

Mám sluncem probdělé dny

a na očích mám šátek,

na ústech chvění.

Za setmění

                       soukám své motáky

do uší pěny.

 

                            Motáky do uší pěny (1984)

 

I do not spring from the earth                                          

                                   as water

and I do not darken

                                   as a curtain.

I have a soul shaved

                                   bald.

I have days kept awake by the sun

and on my eyes I have a scarf,

a trembling on my mouth.

At dusk

                                   I smuggle my prison notes

into the ears of seafoam.

 

                                               Prison Notes Smuggled into the ears of Seafoam (1984)

 

No broto de la tierra

                          como el agua

y no oscuresco

                         como el telón

Tengo el alma pelada

                         al rape.

Tengo los días trasnochados por el sol     

un temblor en los labios.

Al atardecer

                         empujo mis notas de prisión

a los oídos de la espuma marina.

 

         Notas de prisión a los oídos de la espuma (1984)

 

 

Právě ti mrtví byli tak blízko.

Jak mohu vydret nebe?

S očima prázdnýma jako talíře,

po večeři s očima

na stole, na gramofonu,

co se točí dál i kdy u oněměl

(utichává mi kadou noc).

Slyšíš? Jsou to kameny,

co mluví k sobě tichým hlasem

blaeného šeptání lesů.

Pití mléka je tak vzdáleno

našim uším.

Proč asi...

                                     Vzduch bez podpatků (1987)

 

 

It was the dead  who were so close.

How can I survive the sky

with eyes as empty as the plates

after dinner with eyes

on the table turning

the turn-table gone mute

(it happens every night)!

Can you hear? It is the stones

speaking to each other in the low voice

the peaceful murmur of the forests.

Drinking milk is so distant

from our ears

We wonder...

 

                         Air without Heels 1987

                         Poem written originally in English (published in The                                  Courage of the Rainbow (Selected Poems) 1993

 

 

Precisamente estos muertos han estado tan cerca.

¿Cómo puedo soportar el cielo?

Con lo ojos vacíos como los platos

después de una cena,  con los ojos

sobre la mesa, sobre el tocadisco

que sigue girando aún cuando ya enmudeció

(se silencia para mí así cada noche).

¿Oyes? Son las piedras,

que hablan en voz baja una con la otra

con un susurro feliz del bosque.

Beber la leche es tan alejado

a nuestros oídos.

Por que así …

                                                                       El aire sin tacones (1987)

 

To je můj domov

má hora

můj lístek

křehký

skok.

To je má úasná hra

můj karban

můj krátký

oddech můj zloděj

srdce

má dávno ztracená láska

má samota ve svobodě

můj strom ivota

má kolébka, má skvrna, můj hrad.

To je má hanba

mé zoufalství

můj vzlyk.

To je můj poslední

nahý křik...

                                               Proměny (2000)

 

This is my home

my mountain

my ticket

fragile

leap.

This is my stunning game

my gamble

my brief

respit my thief

of heart

my love long lost

my solitude in freedom

my tree of life

my cradle, castle, stain.

This is my shame

my despair

my dream.

This is my last

lucid scream.

 

                                   Transformations (2000)

 

Esto es mi hogar

mi montaňa

mi billete

frágil

salto.

Esto es mi juego maravilloso

mi juego de nanes

mi corto

descanso,  mi ladrón

de corazón, mi amor perdido hace tiempo

mi soledad en la libertad

mi árbol de la vida

mi cuna, mi mancha, mi castillo.

Esto es mi vergüenza

mi desesperación

mi sollozo.

Esto es mi último

grito desnudo …

 

                                   Transformaciones (2000)


 

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