Izidora Angel translating Geo Milev

Translator Note on Geo Milev

Anthologizing is a form of criticism, and the beloved Bulgarian poet Geo Milev had gone far and wide for his Anthology of the Yellow Rose: Lyrics on Blighted Love (1922). In it he included—and personally translated from the English, Russian, French and German—works by Yeats, Keats, Shakespeare, Wilde, Sologub, Régnier, Franko, and Platen. In an uncharacteristic move, he included several of his own poems, one of which is “Until We Meet Again,” or Dnevnik: literally, “diary.” Although the precise year of its writing is unknown, it is first anthologized in 1920 and it isn’t hard to imagine the poet writing it for a lover before being sent off to fight in the Great War in 1916 and losing part of his skull and his right eye fighting for his country on Germany’s side. The writer, translator, and editor is an expressionist and futurist, but above all, he is a consummate poet. The rhyme is unobtrusive, the imagery of blood—the symbol of life, or lack there of—unrelenting. His obsession with death foreshadows his own tragic end at age 30. 

Until We Meet Again

It is too late now. Adieu.
(Trust me, it’s because I love you!)
But in wreaths of passion I shall not adorn you.
(I’m pallid, too far gone.)
The dark has come. Adieu.
The day. The night. And I and you.
And that belated smile,
Spilt like sorrow
From the vases of your gaze…

A barren night!
No mystery awaits my heart.
(Is it I or this bloodless eve—
The pallid is unbound.)
I realize. I know. No mystery awaits.
It’s simply too late now.


Сега е твърде късно. Сбогом.
(Защото много те обичам!)
Но няма в страст да те обкича.
(Аз избледнял съм. Твърде много.)
Сега е вече късно. Всичко.
Денят. Нощта. И аз. И ти.
И закъснялата усмивка,
разляна в скръб из вазите
на твоя взор...

                  Безплодна вечер!
Сърцето ми не чака тайна.
(Аз или тази бледна вечер—
но бледнината е безкрайна!)
Разбирам. Зная. Няма тайна.
Сега е твърде късно вече.

Geo Milev

Geo Milev (1895-1925) was one of Bulgaria’s greatest literary revolutionaries—a prolific poet, publicist, editor, and translator who translated the poetry of Lord Byron, Shakespeare, Goethe, Keats, de Musset, and many others into Bulgarian. A student of expressionism and futurism, Milev’s most famous work is the epic poem September, originally published in his controversial periodical Flame—a call for the Bulgarian people to rise against the tyranny of their government. He was murdered because of the poem and buried in a mass grave.

Izidora Angel

Izidora Angel is a Bulgarian-born writer, translator and curator living in Chicago. She has written essays and critique for the Chicago Reader, Publishing Perspectives, Three Percent, Egoist and more. For translated excerpts of the novel The Same Night Awaits Us All: Diary of a Novel, she was awarded a literary translator’s residency at Open Letter Books in New York in conjunction with the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation (EKF); Izidora was also awarded an English PEN grant, and a fellowship at Writers OMI at Ledig House in November 2015, together with the author of the novel, Hristo Karastoyanov. Her translation of the novel, supported by EKF, is forthcoming from Open Letter Books in Spring 2017.