Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Myths of the North— Olga Glustikova

Oct 26, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

TRANSLATED FROM THE SLOVAKIAN BY Zuzana Habek, Martina Grmanová, Martin Železník

Olga Glustikova, Slovakia

Image Used For Representation

 

BODY / FAMILY / CONTEXT

 

because at grandfather’s / vast taiga / hunting
man-eating beasts / everything went
through the hallway of his house

stationary jay / squirrel / crow
deer head / on furniture exposed muskrat
weasel and otter / tufts of fur / glass
gaze / anxiety

another time when playing in the closet / rabbit
and fox furs under our feet / in the corner
of the attic scattered roe deer skulls / antlers

because at grandfather’s / they confronted us
with life since we were little / in their own
strange way


LINEAGE / LICHEN / MONOCULTURE

 

my father’s workbook: in October
we descend into the valleys / we travel
through the shallows swamps marshes and soaked
meadows / through their home names / we recognize
local dialect / only language
subdues this region enough / we say
that we speak in our own way / we accumulate words
lose them and something intensifies in us

forests spruces monocultures / we
in their oxygen texts / contexts / water cycle
tied us to the country / us writers
translators of the north / lichens / sandstones
and our birth houses have stood out / since forever
from the earth / which eats its own poets


LINEAGE / BODIES / CONTEXTS

 

our ancestors: horse smugglers / foresters / millers
gramps in a northern wasteland / bear hunters
bearded cranberries’ and mushrooms‘ gatherers

progenitresses with wooden combs / for generations
mothers with thick arms
(potatoes beans open pots) eleven children / tin
bathtubs at the courtyards

spacious bed sheets / tablecloths:
meadows woods and river-beds
hardening arteries / home births / pies
that have never been sweet


RITUALS: LAYING DOWN

 

in the spring / in the mountains the slopes collapsed
and Marika and I / then eleven years old
we laid down into the gaps in the soil / ground beetles
ants earthworms spiders snakes lizards
they got out from our heads back to earth

we can be heard even if we are silent
Marika said afterwards / and all hollows
times / grammatical forms
they are heading inwards since


REPOSITORIES / EDGES OF HUMAN

 

we from ancient families / we stand in the snow fields
and there are in us / internal azimuths / instinct / collective memory

an area with an epic bedrock / tundra / heart
that is vast / feels our warmth with all its stone

because the land / it’s not just the surface / the big sink
cold soup / sends a badger to our camera trap
wolf cubs / their quivering tongue over the water shell

we from ancient families and white paper
of our native tundra / we only read animal tracks
heavy air matter above us / jelly-like membrane
eye / mute but observes / repositories: edges of human
we are included in paratext / bearing the burden
of this understanding


Also, read Above The Bell and Other Poems by Ivan Djeparoski, translated from the Macedonian by Zoran Anchevski and published in The Antonym:

Above The Bell and Other Poems— Ivan Djeparoski


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Olga Glustikova

Olga Glustikova

Olga Glustikova (b. 1987, Slovakia) is a poet, publicist and media specialist. Currently working on her third poetry collection called Myths of the North (Skalna ruza, 2023). Olga participated in the Spring Edition of the Visegrad Literary Residency Program in 2022. She created these poems thanks to Visegrad Fund. Her second book Atlas of biological women (2017) was translated partly in Czech and in Romanian (frACTalia, 2020). She debuted with the collection of poems called Placed into trees (2014). Her poems and publicistic texts have published online and in magazines in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Peru, Chile and Serbia, read on Slovak national radio and published in numerous anthologies. She has worked as a journalist for regional newspapers and economic dailies and now works as a media specialist for big construction and industrial companies.

Zuzana Mlynárčiková

Zuzana Mlynárčiková is a Slovak artist living in the capital city Bratislava. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. She works with media of painting and classic printing techniques such as linocut, print from collage/monotype or frottage. In addition to freelance work, she creates illustrations for books, for example Vlčie oko, Nová Oktáva or Atlas biologických žien,  this one was published in collaboration with Oľga Gluštíková. She has been awarded several times in the national competition Najkrajšia kniha roka (Most beautiful book of the year) for student work.

 

 

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