Also in Translations:

1. jpg Kane_zimorodok_w_cover_final (1)-page-001
Yana Kane. Bilingual Poems.


… and this needle
is to pierce your heart,
to pull through you
a thread:
white, scarlet, smoking, blackening.

You will never be lost,
never be forgotten —
I will sew you dead center
into the pattern of my quilt.



… а эта игла
пронзит твоё сердце,
протянет сквозь тебя
белую, алую, дымящуюся, почерневшую.

Ты никогда не затеряешься,
не канешь в забвенье —
стежок к стежку, намертво —
останешься в узоре
моего лоскутного одеяльца.


* * *


Indigo and russet dandy,
fearless diver,
you plunge from a tree
into a stream;
burst from the water
into the sky.

Hungry hunter,
you snatch living quicksilver
from the swift current.

In your sharp beak
quivers my soul.


Весёлый маленький франт,
Бесстрашный ныряльщик
С земли в воду,
Из воды в воздух,
Недолговечный ловец
Серебряных рыбок,
В твоём клюве
Трепещет моя душа.

* * *


I used to remember
the first light—
a slow kindling of dawn
over the milky plane
of fresh-fallen snow.

I used to remember
the first words—
more song than speech—
a lullaby-cradle, woven secrets
of spruce and birch thickets.

Now light is stained—
an unwitting accomplice
to the eyes taking aim
at human targets.

Now my memory stumbles
among craters and wounds,
deafened by explosions, by screams,
by the dead silence of rubble.

My mother tongue is struck dumb.
Hatred sent its words
to wage war.

March, 2022

Когда-то я хранила в памяти
первый свет –
неспешно разгорающийся восход
над молочной равниной
свежевыпавшего снега.

Когда-то я хранила в памяти
первые слова –
колыбельный напев речи, переплетение
лепета ольшаника, шёпота еловой чащи.

Теперь свет очернён –
невольный соучастник глаз
когда они ищут живые мишени,
когда они целятся в людей.

Теперь память спотыкается,
затерявшись между воронками и увечьями,
оглушённая взрывами, криками,
мёртвой тишиной развалин.

Родная речь онемела.
Ненависть призвала её слова
на войну.

Март 2022
* * *


I don’t want to hate.
I don’t want to be hated.
I don’t want anyone to hate in my name.



Я не хочу ненавидеть.
Я не хочу, чтобы меня ненавидели.
Я не хочу, чтобы ненавидели от моего имени.


“Mother Tongue/Родная Речь” was first published in “View.Point” («Точка.Зрения»), a publishing project in Russia that focuses on Russian-language anti-war poems (

English texts were edited by Bruce Esrig

About the Author:

1. Yana Kane photo cropped 2022 06 26A(1)
Yana Kane
New Jersey, USA

Yana Kane came to the United States as a refugee from the Soviet Union when she was a teenager. She has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Cornell University. She works as a senior principal engineer. She is a recipient of the Mitch and Lynn Baumeister Scholarship in the Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA in Creative Writing program. Her writing appeared in a variety of Russian and English language magazines and anthologies. A bilingual book of her poetry and translations, “Kingfisher/Zimorodok,” was published in 2020.

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Play Video
Poetry Reading in Honor of Brodsky’s 81st Birthday
Length: 1:35:40