Gali-Dana Singer. Translated by Dmitri Manin

Also in Translations:

2021-06June-08 (21) (1)
Gali-Dana Singer. Entrance. 2021
Gali-Dana Singer. Translated by Dmitri Manin


you so wished to be different
and scrambled after her
that I was getting out of hand
no later than before

you watched through puffy lids, though not
swollen from heavy tears
an evergreen inequinox
and jealousy of stars

she was so eager to evade
herself yourself myself
she ran and chased away the shade
until the darkness fell

that was because of any sun
who so identifies
she called it love she called it un-
solicited advice

she rushed into a posthumous fight
the final fight with self
I called it fate so that I might
tell you to go to hell

she called it chair and chandelier
and chest of drawers and table
a wall between us rose as clear
as incoherent babble

not azure heat nor frosty glaze
where branchy shadows sprawl
but vessels of sanguiferous days
branched out above the wall

you called it broccoli and spud
you called it beets and chives
but you are bound to spill some blood
under whatever guise

and on the double-bottom night
I follow like a howl
behind the beast behind the fight
a soldier sans parole

the moon sleepwalks and, full of blind
eyes, milky to the brim,
shines on words that stump the mind
on you yourself and him

down here there is no room for two
but you must make me thrice
don’t trust your eyes I’m begging you
but wipe and close your eyes


ты так хотела быть иной
ты так рвалась за ней
что сладу не было со мной
ни прежде, ни поздней

ты наблюдала из-под век
набрякших не от слез
неравноденствие навек
и ревность жалких звезд

стремилась избежать она
себя тебя меня
и так бежала дотемна
тьму пред собой гоня

тому причиной был любой
себя назвавший свет
она звала его любовь
непрошенный совет

она рвалась в посмертный бой
в последний бой с собой
я назвала его судьбой
лишь бы не быть тобой

комод его звала она
и шкаф и табурет
вставала между нас стена
прозрачная как бред

не иней на ветвях теней
лежал, не синий зной
сосуды кровеносных дней
ветвились над стеной

а ты звала его морковь
и брюква и редис
но чью-то проливаешь кровь
во что ты ни рядись

и ночью донной и двойной
я следую как вой
за зверем или за войной
бессрочный рядовой

наощупь глаз слепых полна
немыслимым словам
сияет дойная луна
тебе ему и вам

здесь места не найти двоим
но ты меня утрой
прошу не верь глазам своим
утри их и закрой
* * *


in memoriam Victor Ivaniv

so there you go with a bold dot over the i.
dead goats don’t sweat in the sweet sky. they know:
there’s a future for them and for you when you fly,
in soaring there’s an end to the sorrow.

now, they know, the exhausted soil will send
her daughter-son into the halo of black-earth furrows.
a grain of the pain will be sown into the land,
and the sow of neither-day-nor-night will farrow.

petty tears will drizzle over your freakin’ heaven.
that’s where the virgin seed will sprout in vain.
it’s from there now, my dear, that you’ll be observing
us down here, without haste or disdain.

dead sheep and goats, and a couple of donkeys swim
parting subterranean waters at a measured pace.
it’s a pity you threw so many words to the wind
no hesiod could collect them if they left no trace.

none could have, not even with the help of a magic pike.
you could have, just like you annulled the old wisdom.
so there you go with a bold dot over the i,
as if you had left and closed the window.



памяти Виктора Иванiва

вот и поставил ты жирную точку над i.
мертвые козы парят и не парятся. знают,
все у тебя и у них впереди.
знают, тоска отпускает земная.

знают, теперь истощенная почва пошлёт
в нимб черноземных надежд своего сына-дочку.
му́ку просеет на ночву и там – недолёт –
опоросится не день-и-не ночка.

мелкой слезой оросится ваш грёбаный рай.
там и взойдет непорочно напрасное семя.
ты уж оттуда теперь, милый друг, надзирай
несвысока, не спеша, надо всеми.

мертвые козы и овцы и пара ослов
мерно парят, раздвигая подземные воды.
жаль, что из песни ты выбросил уймищу слов
кто их теперь соберет и каким гесиодом.

кто их теперь соберет даже щучьим веленьем в груди.
ты бы сумел, как сумел отменить поговорку.
вот и поставил ты жирную точку над i,
как затворил за собою оконную створку.

Translated from Russian by Dmitri Manin

About the Author:

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Gali-Dana Singer
Jerusalem, Israel

Gali-Dana Singer was born in St Petersburg (the USSR) and came to Israel in 1988. Poet, translator and editor of the bilingual (in Hebrew and Russian) literary magazine «Двоеточие»  (“Nekudataim”) , with Nekoda Singer, and one of co-editors of Articulation literary site. Eight volumes of her poetry have been published in Russian, and four in Hebrew; she is the recipient of major Israeli literary prizes including the Prime Minister 2004 Prize for Hebrew writers. She also published seven books of translations from Hebrew and English into Russian and one from Russian into Hebrew.

About the Translator:

manin_2021 (1)
Dmitri Manin
California, USA

Dmitri Manin is a physicist, programmer, and translator of poetry. His translations from English and French into Russian have appeared in several book collections. His latest work is a complete translation of Ted Hughes’ “Crow” (Jaromír Hladík Press, 2020) and Allen Ginsberg’s “The Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems” (Podpisnie Izdaniya, 2021). Dmitri’s Russian-to-English translations have been published in journals (Cardinal Points, Delos, The Café Review, Metamorphoses, etc) and in Maria Stepanova’s “The Voice Over” (CUP, 2021). In 2017, his translation of Stepanova’s poem won the Compass Award competition. “Columns,” his new book of translations of Nikolai Zabolotsky’s poems, was published by Arc Publications in 2023 (

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