04/01/2015 by Christopher Buxton

We’re not a nation

by Petko Slaveikov translated by Christopher Buxton


We’re not a nation, not a nation, but carrion,

people who refuse occupation.

Everything’s heavy, everything hurts us

“I don’t know! I can’t do it!” sung in one voice.

We don’t know and we can’t and we’ll not

work for ourselves in time’s allotment.

We only know and we can and we will

Eat each other to our spiteful fill.

Amongst ourselves we’re bad, rude, irascible

With others we’re docile, quiet, pliable.

They still walk over us, whoever comes

Because we’re inept, all fingers and thumbs.

Everyone shouts “Curses on our plight!”

And every ambition is  squashed flat.


We’re not a nation, not a nation, but carrion

Again I say it, and end my oration.

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