Valery Chereshnya. Translated by Dmitri Manin

Also in Translations:

22. www.RussianPaintings.net_Wedernikow_Boris_Old_Lamps_medium_224983
"Old Lamps" by Boris Wedernikow
Valery Chereshnya. Translated by Dmitri Manin

Tatters of rock-crystal foliage
torn from the jittery night
by a garden light, shudder slowly
hiding their wind-driven fright.

The witchy Greek neighbor’s shadow
swings upward, viciously tall,
bird-headed, evil, stupendous,
breaking in half on the wall.

In the dry throat of a lampshade
a drumroll, a night moth’s unrest.
In a pickling jar vodka splashes
steeping with orange zest.

Darkness colluding with emptiness,
Sweet bitterness making mischief.
Into the present continuous
Eternity sneaks like a thief.


Лампа в саду вырывает
ночи испуганной клок
со слюдяною листвою,
прячущей ветреный вздрог.

Злобной старухи-гречанки
птицеголовая тень
вымахнет ростом отчаянным,
переломившись у стен.

В горле сухом абажура
гулкая дробь мотылька.
На апельсинных кожурках
водка внутри бутылька.

Сладкая горечь проказит,
тьма с пустотой заодно.
Вечность в мгновенье пролазит,
словно воришка в окно.

About the Author:

1. черешня фото
Valery Chereshnya
St. Petersburg, Russia

Valery Chereshnya was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1948, and now lives in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has authored five collections of poetry (among them “Recognition”, 2018), a book of essays “A View from Himself”, as well as many other publications in major Russian literary magazines.

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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