Svetlana Lilova: Metaphysical Dictionary (2016) A Collection of Poems with Illustrations by Graham Falk


Some of you may remember that I participated in Thomas’ (MystwostotinkiBulgarian Literature Month in June. Right after the month was finished, I was offered a copy of Svetlana Lilova’s poetry collection Metaphysical Dictionary. Svetlana Lilova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and emigrated to Canada as a teenager. Language is one of the major preoccupations of any expat or immigrant. So it’s not surprising that Lilova’s collection is inspired by this experience and written in the form of a dictionary.

This is such a unique collection. It combines Lilova’s poems with drawings by Graham Falk. The result is as original as it is thought-provoking.


You can open it anywhere you want and you’ll find something that will surprise or delight you.


It’s possible to read the book from beginning to end, but it’s equally rewarding to just open it at random and read an entry here and there.

If you click on the images, you can read a few of the entries. Here are some more:

nature      an endless song

a symphony of diversity and balance

inertia  outwardly;

a lot happening on the inside

demanding all attention

vital to attend



not moving enough to produce

a reflection or substance

to focus on

sad      unknown

suffused with rose water

choice     what we all have


This is the kind of book that would make an excellent gift. Not only for lovers of poetry and quirky texts, but also for those who enjoy the combination of words and drawings.md4

The collection has been published by Dumagrad Books, a Canadian publisher I wasn’t familiar with. For those who are interested in independent publishers, don’t miss visiting the website. They have a really appealing catalogue.

16 thoughts on “Svetlana Lilova: Metaphysical Dictionary (2016) A Collection of Poems with Illustrations by Graham Falk

  1. This looks like a beautiful book, Caroline! I thought that it was written in Russian and the author was Russian! Both wrong! The poems you have quoted are beautiful! I can’t wait to read the book! Thanks for championing Bulgarian literature 🙂

  2. I found your site via Sigrun’s blog and I’m so glad I did! This book is intriguing! I’m passionate about words, the meaning we ascribe to them, the range of interpretations. I was also interested to hear about Dumagrad books. Thank you for sharing.

    • How nice if you to visit. And I’m very glad you like the sound of the book and the publisher.
      Words are fascinating. The way we translate them. The way we use our own language and adopted languages. Her book us very clever, very subtle.

  3. Hey, Caroline. It has been a while! I hope things are ok with you. This collection looks really interesting, but it’s a bit hard to come by, apparently. I looked for it at all the usual places I buy books and none of them returned a result. It seems odd that it appears to be “exclusive” to the publisher’s site and Amazon. Anyway, I like the extracts you posted. There are some profound ideas and thoughts to sit with amongst them.

    • Hi, yes, it has. Glad to see you here. I’m not around much these days.
      It’s aninteresting collection but I wasn’t ware that it’s so hard to get. maybe because they are in Canada? not sure. I can let him know. It will be importnat in the future that people can order from other places too.
      The idea od a personal dictionary really resonated with me too.

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