Anna Kreslavsky. Translations by Dmitri Manin and Ian Ross Singleton

Also in Translations:

Anna Kreslavsky. Translations by Dmitri Manin and Ian Ross Singleton
Henry Darger. Recto: 31 (fragment)
Anna Kreslavsky. Translations by Dmitri Manin and Ian Ross Singleton

 
* * *
 
will i turn in the end       into two not one
will my four wings beat       splashing my despair
when my pained flesh turns       into down at dawn
when my spirit soars       as two birds in pair
and as they fly out       up against the sun
lend to them your heart       lean on them your eye
those two birds of mine       those two storks two swans
as though we could meet       again you and i
but it’s not for you       to go there with me
so hang on for now       like a grape on the wall
the garden of god       is wondrous and windy
and the berry is sweet       only in the fall
 
Translated by Dmitri Manin
 

превращусь ли я не в одну а в двух
расплещу ль печаль в четырех крылах
в небо парой птиц воспарит мой дух
обратится в пух отболевший прах
а как вылетят против солнца в высь
мои лебеди мои аисты
глазом к ним прильни сердцем к ним прижмись
будто свидимся снова я и ты
но за мной тебе ни за что нельзя
виноградинкой повиси пока
чуден божий сад сквозняки сквозят
лишь по осени ягодка сладка

 
* * *
 

KEEP IT SAFE

nothing is lost, but the smell of calamity’s everywhere
a blood-gorged leech a bloody bandage a bloodshot eye
reality splinters and turns into a hollow nightmare
yet even now keep the horrors out of your mind
close your palm with your happiness gathered by the petal and bead
collect every golden candy wrapper every crumpled foil square
catch your talisman rhyme like a boomerang at full speed
keep your world to yourself don’t accept any lodgers in there
even when the horde of fierce facts storms your safely locked gate
like a wizard who swiftly turns into a shimmering star
a swallow frozen in flight or a withered bouquet
do the same with your life spelled in verse in the book of fate
keep it safe even if you don’t have it where you are

Translated by Dmitri Manin
 

СОХРАНИ

ничего не пропало а только пропахло бедой
как налитые кровью пиявки бинты и глаза
разбивается явь на осколки в кошмар превращаясь пустой
все равно и теперь даже думать о страшном нельзя
собери в кулаке свое счастье по бусинке по лепестку
по конфетной обертке и смятой фольге золотой
своих строк оберег бумерангом поймай на скаку
и свой мир не отдай никому не пускай на постой
в свою тихую комнату фактов свирепых орду
и как маг что замёрзшую ласточку или увядший букет
на лету превращает в мерцающую звезду
так свой век что стихами написан тебе на роду
сохрани даже если его у тебя больше нет
 

* * *

february the ink dried up for good
nobody’s crying or the cry doesn’t reach
the day cold like an olden niche
of what’s not there though where’s the person
either you sit so or you tap the keys
in the unglued frame of unease
only a little airplane of a secret in the clouds
and a murder of crows in branches aroused
snow lies there too the fucker won’t thaw
on the temples and at the edges of the fuss
password’s not needed rambler’s fa la la
in the morning my orange smells just
like the grove where the poet was shot
as if it arrived here now since I can’t go
it’s cold for a southerner in the snow
where the cruel north makes its white bed soft
like the yogurt parfait you’ll eat give your server
to your enemy
how coffee smells as if for the first time
streams well the steam so mild
and a cup long-awaited like a child
full to be drunk a while this moment this time
though from the mirror a strange cold eye
tells till it hurts with a chop to the gut
that you lost your faith in fate
beyond hamlet’s to beat or not to beat
and if you’re unable to defeat
the ice of winter’s lie with your coffee spoon
then maybe you simply don’t exist
but it’s only winter’s little chill
the gloomy light on the windowsill
the cat in the yard taking a stroll

Translated by Ian Ross Singleton
 

февраль чернила высохли навек
никто не плачет или я не слышу
холодный день как старенькая ниша
чего там нет но где же человек
хоть так сидишь а хоть гремишь по клаве
в сомнения расклеенной оправе
лишь самолётик тайны в облаках
и вороньё на ветках возбухает
и снег себе лежит подлец не тает
у края суеты и на висках
пароль не нужен рамблер ту-ру-ру
мой апельсин так пахнет поутру
как будто роща где поэт расстрелян
пришла сюда раз я к ней не могу
ей холодно южанке на снегу
тут жёсткий север белым мягко стелет
съешь йогурт с хлопьями а сервер сдай
врагу
как пахнет кофе будто в первый раз
как струйка хороша и пар так тонок
и чашка долгожданна как ребёнок
полна чтоб долго пить сей миг сей час
но в зеркале чужой холодный глаз
гласит до боли колкой в подреберье
что ты к судьбе утратила доверье
вне гамлетова бить или не бить
и если не сумеешь растопить
лёд зимней лжи своей кофейной ложкой
то может и тебя на свете нет
а так зима простужена немножко
в оконной раме сумеречный свет
и по двору гуляющая кошка

About the Author:

Anna Kreslavskaya
Anna Kreslavskaya
Haarlem, Netherlands

Anna Kreslavskaya was born and grew up in Ukraine (Zaporozhye & Kharkov). A philologist by profession, she worked as a teacher of Russian and world literature. She has been writing poetry her entire life. After she had emigrated, she lived between England and Belgium. Currently, she lives in the Netherlands. She is a winner of the First International (Russian-language) Internet Poetry Contest “The Emigré Lyre”.

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Anna Kreslavsky
Bookshelf
by Victor Enyutin

A book of poems in Russian by Victor Enyutin (San Francisco, 1983). Victor  Enyutin is a Russian writer, poet, and sociologist who emigrated to the US from the Soviet Union in 1975.

by Anna Krushelnitskaya

This collection of personal essays by a bi-national Russian/U.S. author offers glimpses into many things Soviet and post-Soviet: the sacred, the profane, the mundane, the little-discussed and the often-overlooked. What was a Soviet school dance like? Did communists go to church? Did communists listen to Donna Summer? If you want to find out, read on!

by Anna Krushelnitskaya

“Cold War Casual” is a collection of transcribed oral testimony and interviews translated from Russian into English and from English into Russian that delve into the effect of the events and the government propaganda of the Cold War era on regular citizens of countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

by Julia Wiener

Julia Wiener was born in the USSR a few years before the Second World War; her youth was spent during the “Thaw” period, and her maturity coincided with the years of “Soviet stagnation”, which, in her case, ended with her emigration to Israel in the early 1970s. Her wartime childhood, her Komsomol-student youth, her subsequent disillusionment, her meetings with well-known writers (Andrei Platonov, Victor Nekrasov, etc.) are described in a humorous style and colorful detail. Julia brings to life colorful characters – from her Moscow communal apartment neighbors to a hippie London lord, or an Arab family, headed by a devotee of classical Russian literature. No less diverse are the landscapes against which the events unfold: the steppes of Kazakhstan, the Garden of Gethsemane, New York, Amsterdam, London.

by Julia Wiener

Julia Wiener’s novels focus on those moments when illusory human existence collapses in the face of true life, be it spiritual purity, love, old age, or death.

by Nina Kossman

A collection of poems in Russian. Published by Khudozhestvennaya literatura. Moscow, 1990.

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