Wednesday, November 6, 2013
two more Ladinsky poems
Translated by Jillian Parker.
As the sun stood over Rome--
A cold and rosy sphere,
So to barbaric chills and winters
Steam has gone to meet breathing,
Separated from a marble mouth.
In this way a Roman ship perished.
So, to a perishing world the Poet
Said farewell, yawning indifferently.
We have hazily compared a woman
To a rose. During the plague
At the hot banquet, the glassy
Goblets clinked winter.
In the birch forests--radiance
And angelic silence,
But laboring over the coffin, sobbing,
Stood Natalia, his earthly wife.
Blok lived among us. Out in the chill,
Bonfires crackled on the corners,
And crystal tears slowly congealed
On winter's beautiful eyes.
Blok lived among us. And, sighing,
A man collapsed into a snow-drift
And fell, and fell from heaven
Onto the Russian huts, the sifting snow.
[Now take a visit to an older snowy Russia! -- TB]
All is rimmed with frost. The Express flies
Through the firs and larches of Siberia.
It glides! The ever-green forest,
As if in a hunting jacket,
Is glancing at the mirror of winter.
A dear, with marvelous eyes
gazes at the horizon, and we,
Like children, play with snow-balls.
The train lands in a white garden
And the best in the land, rosy-cheeked
Young Siberian soldiers, it
Carries, just as in a northern novel.
They sing to the tap of the wheels
And play with harmonies.
Beneath this music, the frosty trees
Dream of a kingdom of roses.
Under the music, among the woods
Swoop squirrels, as if along rigging,
Magpies ornament the forest
Like black and white bows.
Fox wriggles its ears.
And the Bears ponder deeply,
With the cunning fox in the fable,
(They are neighbors in Krylovsky).
A bird perches on a branch
And from the branch a handful of snow
Suddenly drops. As in a dream!
All of this Russian winter,
With its freezing and glaciation,
Is not despair and darkness,
But a good night's sleep before awakening.