You are currently viewing Most constant unpresence
Xie Lei, Revelation, 2022, courtesy of the artist.

Language: Macedonian
Poet: Gane Todorovski
Translator: Sofija Popovska
Region: North Macedonia


Most constant unpresence

A poem by Gane Todorovski, translated from Macedonian by Sofija Popovska.

Gane Todorovski (11 May 1929 – 22 May 2010) was a poet, critic, and historian. He engaged with literature in numerous ways, such as teaching Croatian and Macedonian Literature at the University of Skopje, being the president of the Macedonian Writers’ Association and the Board of the Struga Poetry Evenings Festival, as well as editing several literary magazines.

Sofija Popovska is a Russian-Macedonian poet and translator currently based in Germany. Her first published work is the poetry collection Faces in the Crowd, published in 2021 by Дијалог Press. Some of her work has been featured in the literary magazine Expat Press and the Albanian print magazine ExLibris.


Милувам прашинка да си,
тих повеј да ми те донесе…

Прашинка љубов, прашинка ништотна,
прашинка невидна,
но сепак љубов, сепак љубов.

Дај да те имам во дланкиве
Нетежина, Несетило.
Дај да поверувам дека си во мене,
стуткана некаде во мене.

Милувам прашинка да си,
Тих повеј да ми те донесе…

Како што на пролет цветниците зачнуваат
дај да те заплодам,
за да се родиш во мене
љубов богатница, љубов имовита,
љубов плод љубов надрочен.

Милувам прашинка да си,
тих повеј да ми те донесе…

Но, јас те имам немаштино
најтрајна недостиг,
најблиска недофат,
најголем недорек,
па место грижата за тебе
поначесто сум доволен од себеси.

Македонски монолог. Скопје: Мисла, 1969. С. 46


If only you were a mote
Brought to me by the softest wind…

Mote of love, mote of near-nothing,
Mote invisible,
But still of love, still love.

To have you upon my palms,
Weightless, Unsensory,
Let me think you are within me,
Wrapped up somewhere within me.

I lovelong that the softest wind
Brings you to me, a mote…

As flowers in spring hatch,
Allow me to fructify you,
So that you’re born within me
Fruitful love, manyfold,
Beloved fruit of love, overripe.

I lovelong that the softest wind
Brings you to me, a mote…

But I have you—a lack,
Most constant unpresence,

The closest unreachable,
The greatest unsaid,
So instead of tending to you,
Most days I live off myself.

Macedonian Monologue. Skopje: Misla, 1969. Page 46