A Collage by Bronislava Volková


Here I am – your sister Earth.

I shine bright in my green coat.

My depths, mysterious and black

are the home of blinding diamonds

which when brought to the surface

swallow the light, for they are the reflection

as well as the carrier of visions.

People collect them, to add

brightness and light to themselves, lacking in their souls.

My miraculous waters are the home

for hidden kingdoms unheard of

and when the time comes, they transform themselves

into a cleansing bath, from which

there is no salvation nor recall.

My inner fire never dies away,

only on the surface, it cools off and from the lava

it forms slowly and surely

layers of firmness and nutrients and a seat

for so many fantastic species

of animals and plants,

a sight for sore eyes

a sight for sore eyes

Only man in his foolishness

fights me instead of honoring me

and bitterly loses.

I am patient and tolerate the aberrations

of this intrusive brat a long time without grumbling.

Just like he doesn’t, I don’t ask him

when I charge into battle

against his wanton civilization.

For I am the mistress over the life

and death of my children.

I am the Earth. I am yours.


About the Author:

Bronislava Volková is a bilingual poet, semiotician, translator, collagist, essayist and Professor Emerita of Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. She is a member of Czech and American PEN Club. She went into exile in 1974 аnd taught at several universities in Germany and the US. She led the Czech program of IU for thirty years and authored eleven books of poetry in Czech, a number of bilingual Czech-English editions, two books on linguistic and literary semiotics (Emotive Signs in Language and A Feminist’s Semiotic Odyssey through Czech Literature), as well as a large anthology of Czech poetry translations Up The Devil’s Back (with Clarice Cloutier). Her own poetry has been translated into twelve languages and widely reviewed. She has received a number of literary and cultural awards. She has been invited to international poetry festivals in Bulgaria, Ukraine Romania, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic and Colombia. Her work was repeatedly published in various countries, e.g. Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Czech Republic, the US, India and the United Arab Emirates. She has also periodically done large exhibits of her collage work. Books of selected poems have appeared in English, Russian, Bulgarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, German and Spanish edition is currently in preparation. She is also preparing a study on Forms of Exile in Jewish Literature and Thought (20th Century Central Europe and movement to America). More info at www.bronislavavolkova.com



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