Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sophia Parnok - I'm neither flesh



* * *
I’m neither flesh, nor spirit yet
And daily bread seems hardly needed,
As if my punctured finger bled
Not blood, but sky drops faintly sleeted.

And there are times when pouring wine
Up to the brim feels hardly ample,
When bread all drenched in salty brine
Does not singe lips, tastes eerie gentle.

And stuffy dreams are whispering
That I’ll be tried by my own essence
Dispensing her capricious whims
Like pregnant wives, the loath despots.

Oh, murky, murky, murky way,
Why are you murky, unrelenting?
As if a slightly pulled up drape
Is being promptly drawn descending!

And I must raise myself to God
To crush at night like a dead stone,
And wait, and wait until I’m thawed
And burned by lazy flames through bone.

1922

Translated by Dina Belyayeva


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sergei Yesenin - At Sunset


At sunset the crimson light weaves across the lake,
In the grove wood grouses cry with a strident clang.

Out an oriole laments, holed up in a tree.
I alone don’t feel like crying, filled with joyful glee.

You would slip away to me in the evening dusk,
We would sit in fresh cut hay under finished stacks. 

Like a bloom I’d rumple you, kiss till headiness,
You cannot reproach a man drunk from happiness. 

You would toss the silky veil, dazed from my delight,
And I’d whisk you to the bush till the dawning light. 

Even though the grouses sound woebegone,
There’s a joyous dolor in the crimson dawn.

1910

Translated by Dina Belyayeva