Geo Milev: ‘The Icons are Sleeping’ Translated by Tom Phillips

The High Window


The Bulgarian poet, translator and critic Geo Milev (1895-1925) was a leading figure in European modernism, but his work has only rarely been translated into English. The poems here are considered to be among his most important: ‘The Idols Are Sleeping’ (1922) is a reworking of five traditional Bulgarian songs while ‘September’ (1924) is Milev’s response to the violent suppression of a popular uprising against the right-wing coup in Bulgaria in 1923. Milev was secretly executed during state-led reprisals against the communist bombing of Sofia’s St Nedelya church in 1925.


Tom Phillips is a poet, playwright and translator living in Sofia, Bulgaria. His own work has been published internationally in journals and anthologies, as well as in pamphlets and the full-length poetry collections Unknown Translations (Scalino, 2016), Recreation Ground(Two Rivers Press, 2012) and Burning Omaha (Firewater, 2003). He currently teaches creative writing at Sofia University St Kliment…

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