Alexander Blok. Two Poems.
Alexander Blok. Two Poems.


Ночь, улица, фонарь, аптека,
Бессмысленный и тусклый свет.
Живи еще хоть четверть века
Все будет так. Исхода нет.

Умрешь—начнешь опять сначала,
И повторится все, как встарь:
Ночь, ледяная рябь канала,
Аптека, улица, фонарь.

10 октября 1912


Night, street, streetlight, a pharmacy.
A senseless, drab light all about.
Live twenty five more years and see,
Nothing will change. There’s no way out.

Die and you will restart it all
As long ago. Things will repeat:
Night, icy ripple of a canal,
Streetlight, the pharmacy, the street.

Translated from Russian by A.Z. Foreman. This translation was first published in “Poems Found in Translation”.


* * *

Дома растут, как желанья,
Но взгляни внезапно назад:
Там, где было белое зданье,
Увидишь ты черный смрад.

Так все вещи меняют место,
Неприметно уходят ввысь.
Ты, Орфей, потерял невесту, —
Кто шепнул тебе — «Оглянись…»?

Я закрою голову белым,
Закричу и кинусь в поток.
И всплывет, качнется над телом
Благовонный, речной цветок.

5 ноября 1902


Houses rise like wishes,
But suddenly you look back:
Where you saw white niches,
You see only detritus, black.

Thus everything shifts and changes,
Imperceptibly flies away.
You, Orphée, lost your bride to Hades.
Who whispered to you – “look astray”?

With white my head I will cover,
I’ll scream and plunge in a stream.
And a riverine fragrant flower
Above my body will rise a-gleam.

Translated from Russian by Nina Kossman. This translation was first published in “Silo”, Bennington College annual lit. journal.

About the Author:

Alexander Blok
Alexander Blok
St. Petersburg, Russia

Alexander Blok (November 28, 1880, Saint Petersburg – August 7, 1921, Saint Petersburg) was one of the greatest Russian poets. He was a major poet of Russian Symbolism. He was also a playwright, translator, and literary critic.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Share on email
Alexander Blok Александр Блок
by Evgeny Pinelis

Evgeny Pinelis, an intensive care physician in a  New York City hospital, was born in Moscow to a family of doctors, graduated from medical school, and works in the United States. “Vsyo Nichevo” (literal translation: “All Nothing” or “Everything’s Okay”) is his debut book.

by Ali Bader

A novel by Ali Bader, an award-winning Iraqi novelist, essayist, poet, scriptwriter, and journalist who has written ten novels that won 5 Arabic literary awards, several works of non-fiction and two poetry collections. Author of the novel <em>Papa Sartre</em> (AUC Press, 2009). Ali Bader, who had covered the Middle East as a war correspondent, lives in Belgium.

Play Video
Poetry Reading in Honor of Brodsky’s 81st Birthday
Length: 1:35:40
Play Video
The Café Review Poetry Reading in Russian and in English
Length: 2:16:23