Sergey Netrebsky. Translation by Dmitri Manin

Also in Translations:

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William Blake, "Satan Arousing the Rebel Angels" (fragment)
Sergey Netrebsky. Translation by Dmitri Manin

Войско демонов разбито.
Бродит ангел между тел.
Пусть лежат себе копыта,
Ненадолго прилетел.

А второй, немного дальше,
В поле лжи, у КПП,
Все отряхивал от фальши
Тех, что по другой тропе.

После плакали. Смеялись.
О своем, не про вчера.
Даже до утра остались,
Почернели у костра.

И взлетели на квартиры
По рассвету вдоль лучей.
Провожали дезертиры
Их и тот, что был ничей.

Чудом выжил этот пленный.
Бог прибрать его не смог.
Он не преклонил колена
Ампутированных ног.

* * *

Mid the bodies walks an angel
Through the vanquished demon host.
He came down here on a tangent:
Let the hooved ones rest where tossed.

And another at a distance
Stands a catcher in the lie
On the other path, brushing falseness
Off the travelers passing by.

Afterwards they laugh and mourn.
Never mention what transpired.
Stay up late and talk till morn,
All soot-blackened by the fire.

…They ascended to their quarters
Following the sun’s first rays.
A no one’s man and the deserters
Saw them off with farewell waves.

The man survived mysteriously.
Spared by God, he didn’t beg.
He had never bent a knee
Of his amputated legs.


About the Author:

Sergey Netrebsky
Sergey Netrebsky
Zvenigorod, Russia

In this incarnation, Sergey Netrebsky’s first birth took place in Moscow in 1962, while his second one was in the summer of 1998 in a forest near Zvenigorod. Since then he has been busy with rhyming and conducting workshops on making toys from chenille wire. His book of poems “Forest Pierrot” was published in March 2021.

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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