Akhmatova, Anna Andréevna,
As a kid had a cat whose behavior
Was not to be pitied:
Its fur had been knitted
Into a shawl someone gave her.
У Анны Андревны Ахматовой
был в детстве котенок лохматовый.
Котенка не жаль,
пошел он на шаль
на плечи великой Ахматовой.
* * *
Pasternak, like us all, was born nude.
He pewked and he puled and he mewed
Till he swapped in his nappy
For something more snappy
And a sex life especially crude.
Родившись, Борис Пастернак
был косноязычен и наг.
и стал сексуальны маньяк.
* * *
He followed her just like a lamb,
But she told him, “I don’t give a damn,”
She said when he bleated,
And again she repeated,
“Give it up, you’re a pest, Mandelstam.”
За ней он ходил по пятам.
Она говорила: не дам.
«Настырный же Вы, Мандельштам».
* * *
A face that could turn dogs away
‘s what I see, thought the idle Sergéy.
He was looking at Lenin,
This Sérgey Yesenin,
And not in a mirror that day.
Какая противная рожа, –
со скукой подумал Сережа.
Той рожей был Ленин.
Сережей – Есенин,
и были они непохожи.
* * *
One day at Shakhmatovo Blok
And his mother sat down for a talk:
“A lawyer I’ll be
Or a trouper, you’ll see!”
“Give it up, you’re no genius, my chuck.”
Однажды в Шахматово Блок
Вел с мамой такой диалог:
Хочу быть юристом,
Хочу быть артистом!
– Да ты ж не отличник, милок.
Translated from Russian by J.Kates, a minor poet and a literary translator who lives in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. His translations of Ttiana Shcherbina (The Score of the Game: Zephyr Press and An Offshoot of Sense: Cold Hub Press) remain in print.
Tatiana Shcherbina is a poet and essayist. A graduate of the philology faculty of Moscow State University, she has authored many collections of poetry (one of them, in French) and several books of essays. Her books have been translated and published in France, Canada, Great Britain, USA, New Zealand, Slovenia, and Greece. Her books include “Zero Zero” (1991), “Life Without” (1997), “Dialogues with an Angel” (1999), “The Book of Plus and Minus …” (2001), “Azure Tablet” (2003), “Stock Strength “(2006),” Confessions of a Spy “(2007),” France, Magic Hexagon”(2007), Escape of Meaning “(2008),”They Drowned”(2009), “Reproduction of the Personality “(2010), “Crocozyabry “(2011), “Chronicles. Poems “(2017), and “Anthropological travel” (2019).
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.
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!
“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.
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.
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.