Poets of Ukraine. Hryhoriy Chubay. Half a Breath. Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Also in Translations:

Poets of Ukraine. Hryhoriy Chubay. Half a Breath. Translated by A.Z. Foreman
NIna Kossman. "Lovers in Old Age" [fragment]
Poets of Ukraine. Hryhoriy Chubay. Half a Breath. Translated by A.Z. Foreman

When I am half a breath off from your lips,
When I am half a step away from you —
Your pupils are all woven out of wonder
And in your eyes, it’s all boundless and blue.

You whisper something quiet and bewitched.
That whisper bluely cuts my quiet through
And I forget that I know how to breathe,
And I forget my feet can walk to you.

Your eyelids’ raven rises black in flight
And whisks my confidence somewhere remote,
Now half a step is left behind unwalked
And half a breath is stuck here in my throat.

Your pupils are all woven out of wonder
And in your eyes it’s all boundless and blue
But there is half a breath left to your lips
And half a step left from my lips to you.

~ ~ ~

The Original:

Коли до губ твоїх

Коли до губ твоїх лишається півподиху,
Коли до губ твоїх лишається півкроку –
Зіниці твої виткані із подиву,
В очах у тебе синьо і широко.

Щось шепчеш зачаровано і тихо ти,
Той шепіт мою тишу синьо крає.
І забуваю я, що вмію дихати,
І що ходити вмію, забуваю.

А чорний птах повік твоїх здіймається
І впевненість мою кудись відмає.
Неступленим півкроку залишається,
Півподиху у горлі застрягає.

Зіниці твої виткані із подиву,
В очах у тебе синьо і широко,
Але до губ твоїх лишається півподиху,
До губ твоїх лишається півкроку

About the Author:

Hryhoriy Chubay
Hryhoriy Chubay
Bereziny, Ukraine / Lviv, Ukraine

Hryhoriy Chubay (1949, Bereziny – 1982, Lviv) was a Ukrainian poet and translator, one of the most prominent representatives of the Lviv underground of the 1970s. In his lifetime, he published only in samizdat and abroad. Posthumously, his poetry books To Speak, to Be Silent and to Speak Again (1990), Crying of Jeremiah (1999) were published in Ukraine. He translated poetry from Spanish, Polish, Czech and Russian.

About the Translator:

A.Z. Foreman
A.Z. Foreman

A.Z. Foreman is a linguist and translator of poetry from Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, French, Greek, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Occitan, Persian, Polish, Spanish, Serbian, Russian, Romanian, Romani, Ugaritic, Ukrainian, Urdu, Welsh, and Yiddish.

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