Bronislava Volková is a bilingual poet, semiotician, translator, collage artist, and Professor Emerita of Slavonic Studies at Indiana University. A Czech exile, she lived and taught in the U.S. for over forty years, publishing extensively in Czech and English. She continues to publish bilingual books of poetry, conducts international author readings, and participates in many international poetry festivals as guest of honor and medalist. She currently resides in Prague.
Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Bronislava, what poems have you brought for us today?
Dawn spreads its transparent fingers
in my solitude.
My heart gently opens its petals
for life-giving rain.
The morning is pure and open
in a prayer for the new day.
The mystery of twilight – far away
prepares to nudge me into another realm,
into a night
It is time.
It is time for the best and for the fullest
for the nest
to fill with fluid leaves
that feel welcoming and clean.
It is time to dream
and swim up the stream
to fly on the delightful
wings of your graceful peace offering.
On the other side of the windows
the wind, on its knees, sings
its song to the sun.
It extends its arms
toward the mountains,
where it lays itself to sleep.
(English original )
Human love sails forth,
Animals faithfully stay,
then leave one by one.
Stars seem to forever radiate light,
I love the quiet.
There are not many who know
how to sound better than the quiet
how to rejoice
how to stitch the scars
how to heal the wounds
how to bloom with love.
Once upon a Time
Once upon a time the forest sang a gentle song of wakefulness
and dreaming, and the bush
hid its flame and longing
for the next star in the bright sky.
Today I no longer feel the breath of past
dreams and hopes for the kisses of spring
and gentle caresses, for the autumn heaviness of leaves
and snowy mountain paths.
Passion has stilled,
it has grown parched without resonance.
Words drip from the body’s openings and sometimes choke
on saliva left over from them in the mouth,
no longer yearning for summer’s intoxication.
Old age is sounding its note,
the solitude of walls and everyday steps.
We no longer know where they lead
and why, only lightly caressed by the wind,
they huddle in a silence no one knows,
no one penetrates –
in a silence saturated by all.
I have arrived.
This is my home.
This is where I weed
my mind of eggshells…
Here is where I sit
in my core all naked
all my own
to be -
now and everywhere
I am one with you and everyone.
I have grown
into an embrace.
To be caught up in a briar-patch can suddenly become
a flight into heaven.
Sorrow can easily transform itself
into the miracle of joy,
into a flash of revelation.
You've been listening to the poetry of Bronislava Volkova on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.