Yana Djin. Two poems with Russian translations by Nodar Djin

Also in Translations:

1. Elene Akhvlediani
Art by Elene Akhvlediani (1898–1975) , a Georgian painter, graphic artist, and theater decorator.
Yana Djin. Two poems with Russian translations by Nodar Djin

Scenes From Childhood. Part 1
It was long ago.

It almost didn’t exist.

At the time when I didn’t know

how to form a fist.

Life was indifferent to me.

Didn’t make me kneel.

Since then – it went downhill.

Tender fear.

The childhood street.

Acacias stood guilty,

like the navy fleet .

Caught obeying the enemy’s

head of state.

They stood like traitors,

like fate.

Then – there was no need to feign

that there is no choice but to go insane

following buds of lilac sprouting forth:

Inevitability of a rabid force.

Life was naked and raw.

The dreams were bare.

Yellow wallpaper – poor

Like a gorilla’s stare:

Full of helplessness.



As it watches us – writhing in doubt –

Its tomorrow.

They tell me recalling childhood

Is an omen of death.

I stand in front of the mirror.

Take my allotted breath:

One of many or few left in store.

Was I happy then?

Well, I am no more.






Scenes From Childhood. Part 2

I remember our dirt-yard

and the just-slain sheep

for the wedding that would bring slow grief

to the groom and the bride –

festive and sad.

I remember the feeling of being dead

at the sight of the blood –

crimson and raw

oozing out of the throat.

I remember the core

of life bursting ajar.

I remember wishing that I were far

from the scene of slaughter,

from my own kin.

I wished I were no one’s daughter.

I remember the sound of skin

being deftly torn from the heaping flesh.

I remember I wanted to turn to trash.

Disappear. Vanish.

Dissolve. Melt.

Shove back the cards I was dealt.


* * *
Картины из детства. Часть 1
То было давно.

Почти и не было.

Ни светло, ни темно –

ни огня, ни пепла.

В те дни я в кулак

ладонь не сжимала.

Ни друг, ни враг, –

жизнь моя вяло


С тех дней трудней мне стало.

Детство. Прократься

страхи стараются

в каждую нишу на улице.

Из зыбкого чувства вины акации

сникли, сутулятся.

Как наряд из солдат,

которых уже уличили в измене.

Настороже деревья стоят.

Как судьба. В бессрочной смене.

В те дни я не знала нужды притворяться,

что знаю: осталось только податься

вон из ума, как цветок из бутона.

Краски не знали в те дни полутона.

Маски не ведала правда. Нагою

была. А сны – прямыми. Унылы

были стены в драных обоях, –

жёлтых, словно взгляд у гориллы,

горюющей при мысли, что ей –

в будущем среди нас, людей,

быть. От рождения до могилы.

Мне нагадали: если померкло

в памяти всё, кроме детства, – счёт,

значит, к концу… Дышу на зеркало,

считаю вздохи: чёт, нечёт…

Считаю ли счастьем детские годы?

Знаю другое: другие – не в счёт.



Картины из детства. Часть 2

Не забыла я наш нечистый двор

и овцу, во дворе забитую к свадьбе,

положившей начало тягучей тоске

в житии жениха и невесты.

В глазах сей пары – я помню – тогда

веселье чередовалось с грустью.

Но наизусть и навсегда

иное запомнилось мне, – кончина,

её ощущенье скотиной и кровь,

дымившаяся по той причине,

что, струясь из горла в маленький ров,

стыла на воздухе. Пар был багров…

Чётко помню: оттуда я

захотела сбежать в такие края,

где никому не пришлась бы дочерью,

и мне роднёй – никто, в свою очередь.

А потом, когда с остывавшей туши

сдирали шкуру, я заткнула уши,

и помню, помню, что вместе со звуком

хотела исчезнуть сама. Чтобы мукам

немоим и моим пришёл исход.

Помню ещё – захотелось пылью

обернуться. Вернуться

туда, где было


К раскладу первых колод.

Russian translations by Nodar Djin

About the Author:

1. picture(1)
Yana Djin
New York, USA

Yana Djin was born in 1969, in Tbilisi, Georgia. Subsequently, she lived in Moscow. In 1980, she emigrated to the United States where she studied philosophy. Yana Djin writes poetry in English. Her first book of poetry “Bits And Pieces of Conversations” was published in the US in 1994. Her poems in Russian translation were first published in 1997 in “Literaturnaya Gazeta” under the heading “The New Literary Star”. This was followed by publications in Russian literary magazines, such as “Druzhba Narodov” and “Novyi Mir”. In 2000, Yana Djin’s bilingual book of poetry “Inevitable” was published in Moscow. Djin’s book “Realms of Doubt” was published in 2002. “Immortality”, a collection of poems dedicated to her father, Nodar Djin, was published in 2004.

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