Also in Poetry:

Julia Nemirovskaya. The Mariupol Tram
A Tram in Mariupol. MOs810. CC BY-SA 3.0,
Julia Nemirovskaya. The Mariupol Tram

There Gumilev was lost, pulled asunder

by a bullet, and the lawn drank his blood by the dram.

There sound the lutes, the distant thunder.

Who else managed to catch that tram?

Here goddaughter Natalia sighs

(gazing ahead as the dead might do)

The Mariupol trams could really fly

Back when they were shiny and new.

They imported them from somewhere in Europe:

with wi-fi, timetables and ads on TV,

with windows so bright, and the seats a delight.

Where could my brother and mother be?

Ten days and no word, they’ve been too quiet.

In the news the rails lie in tatters.

I answer: you know, as luck would have it

I know of this tram; I’ve read all about it.

The tram runs its route, but makes no stops,

despite the passengers’ pleas to climb off.

The car and the rails shine new as they drive.

They all watch the ads, and in this are alive.

He’s right on track, his course well defined.

The tram driver is knowing and able:

to the India of the spirit, the Auschwitz of the mind

each station and stop is timed in his table.

Below, the city of Mary remains

little seaside Mariupol, forlorn.

Mashenka, there they invoked your name –

Lay down your arms! – in their dark bullhorn.
Translated by Niles Watterson


Мариупольский трамвай
Там Гумилев заблудился, влекомый

пулей, и кровь его пьет трава.

Там звоны лютни, дальние громы.

Кто успел запрыгнуть в трамвай?

Вот говорит мне кума Наталья

(смотрит вперед будто неживая)

У нас в Мариуполе прям летали

раньше новехонькие трамваи.

Их привезли из Европы откуда-то:

табло, телевизор, вай фай с рекламой,

окна огромные, сиденья чудные.

Как узнать, что с братом и мамой?

Десять дней ничего не слышно.

А в новостях рельсы жгутами.

Я отвечаю: знаешь, так вышло

Что я о трамвае этом читала.

Он ходит, только без остановок,

хоть выйти просятся пассажиры.

Он правда новый, и рельсы новые.

Все смотрят рекламу, и все в нем живы.

Он не заблудился, маршрут исчислил.

Вагоновожатый – он малый ловкий:

до Индии духа, Освенцима мысли

расставил заправки и остановки.

Внизу остался город Марии,

приморский маленький Мариуполь.

Машенька, там о тебе говорили –

Бросьте оружие – в черный рупор.


About the Author:

Julia Nemirovskaya
Oregon, USA

Julia Nemirovskaya was  part of Kovaldzhi’s Seminar and Poetry Club New Wave Poets. She published several collections of verse and short stories, a novel, and a book on Russian Cultural History (with McGrow-Hill, 1997, 2001). Her work appeared in Znamya, LRS, GLAS,  Asymptote, Vozdukh,  Novyi Bereg,  Okno,  Stanford Literary Magazine, etc. in Russian, French, English, and Bulgarian. She is currently teaching and directing student’s theater at the University of Oregon.

About the Translator:

Niles Watterson
Niles Watterson
Austin, TX

Niles Watterson, a poet and translator, grew up along the front range of the Colorado Rockies but has spent a significant portion of his life in the current and former authoritarian states of Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Texas. His early university training is in Russian language and literature, and he translates from Russian and Czech into English. A world traveler at heart, his interests include the conflict between the individual and the state, religion, genocide, and the madness of crowds.

Julia Nemirovskaya Юлия Немировская
by Ian Probstein

A new collection of poems by Ian Probstein. (In Russian)

by Ilya Perelmuter (editor)

Launched in 2012, “Four Centuries” is an international electronic magazine of Russian poetry in translation.

by Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Ehrenburg (1891–1967) was one of the most prolific Russian writers of the twentieth century.  Babi Yar and Other Poems, translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya, is a representative selection of Ehrenburg’s poetry, available in English for the first time.

by William Conelly

Young readers will love this delightful work of children’s verse by poet William Conelly, accompanied by Nadia Kossman’s imaginative, evocative illustrations.

by Maria Galina

A book of poems by Maria Galina, put together and completed exactly one day before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is Galina’s seventh book of poems. With translations by Anna Halberstadt and Ainsley Morse.

by Aleksandr Kabanov

The first bilingual (Russian-English) collection of poems by Aleksandr Kabanov, one of Ukraine’s major poets, “Elements for God” includes poems that predicted – and now chronicle – Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Three Questions. A Documentary by Vita Shtivelman
Play Video
Poetry Reading in Honor of Brodsky’s 81st Birthday
Length: 1:35:40