Friday, December 5, 2014

Anna Akhmatova - The evening light

* * *
The evening light is steeped in gold
And April chill is mild and tender.
You’re late by eons, unforetold,
I’m glad to welcome my attender.

Sit close in a cozy nook,
Look on with cheerful expression:
Here’s my blue cover notebook
With childish rhyming indiscretions.

Forgive me that I lived in woe,
That sunny days could hardly change it.
Forgive that many times before
I looked for you in random strangers.


Translated by Dina Belyayeva

Russian original


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Anna Akhmatova - On his hand...

* * *
On his hand you may see many glittering rings,
Those are tender girls’ hearts, rightful trophies of flings.

There a diamond exults and an opal daydreams,
And a beautiful ruby emits crimson whims.

But on his pallid hand my gemstone will not shine,
None shall ever be granted this jewel of mine.

In my dream a gold ray of the moon forged this ring
As it slipped on my finger it whispered to me:

“Safeguard my precious gift; treat your fancy with pride!”
I will not fail my ring. There’ll be none to confide.


Translated by Dina Belyayeva

Friday, November 28, 2014

Osip Mandelstam - The Last Supper

Supper sky fell in love with a bulwark
All is slashed with pink scars of light threads - 
Having fallen upon it was thrown back
And transformed into thirteen odd heads.
There you are, my nighty-night heaven,
Like a young boy I’m here to face you - 
Chills run down my back, eyes are straining
Catching trebuchet stones as they flew.
And with every new strike of the siege ram
In the sky falling stars lose their eyes - 
Same old supper adorned with new lesions, 
Murky fresco's unfinished surmise.

March 9, 1937

Translated by Dina Belyayeva