Yulia Fridman’s “A Plate That Looks Like a Hat”. Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya

Also in Translations:

new_plate2 (2) (1)
Illustration by Lucy Milko
Yulia Fridman's "A Plate That Looks Like a Hat". Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya

* * *

I don’t need or want a plate that looks like a hat,
Or any shoes looking like heads of horses,
Or these button mushrooms torn off this coat, or that
Angry lady who calls me a klutz and curses.

I don’t like and I don’t feel like getting dressed.
I cannot tell a nightshirt from all of the rest.
Yes, I can go shopping and lose my keys on the way,
But what is the purpose of that exercise anyway?

Dear listeners, tomorrow, no later, all of you
Will wake up in a Universe perfectly new,
Where Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real log, against all odds;
Where an astronaut is served as the breakfast of gods.

That’s because, dear listeners, for a long time and a day
We threw up in our mouths when we looked at your ugly faces.
That’s because you’ve been asking for it, time and again,
With your love of the same old words, actions and places.

When inter-star draft, to soundless prayerful sobbing,
Rips and tears the curtains of atmospheric lace,
Like a love leaf, the door to each house will begin throbbing
And the lock will explode, a particulate fountain in space.

June 9, 2020

~ ~ ~

Мне не нужна тарелка, похожая на шляпу,
Ботинки, как лошадиные головы,
И сморчки этих пуговиц с куртки оборваны,
И сердитая леди ругает меня растяпой.

Я не хочу одеваться, я не могу отличить
Ночную рубашку от всего остального,
Можно пойти в магазин, по пути потерять ключи,
Но к чему это делать снова и снова?

Дорогие радиослушатели, не позднее, чем завтра
Вы проснетесь в совершенно новой Вселенной,
Где Буратино мечтает стать настоящим поленом
И на завтрак богам подают астронавта,

Потому что долго, дорогие радиослушатели,
Нам сводило скулы при взгляде на ваши рожи,
Потому что вы давно этого заслуживаете
За привычку говорить и делать одно и то же,

И межзвездный сквозняк под неслышные всхлипы молитв
Оборвет занавески атмосферного шелка,
Двери каждой квартиры дрогнут, как лист любви,
И фонтаном частиц разлетится в пространство защелка.

7 июня 2020

About the Author:

Fridman Pic_East West (1)
Yulia Fridman
Moscow, Russia

Yulia Fridman, b. 1970, is a researcher at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow. Her poetry and prose appear in various online journals. Her published translations into Russian, done jointly with Dmitri Manin, include several works of Dr. Seuss and a memoir of a prominent French mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck.

About the Translator:

Krushelnitskaya Pic_East West (1)
Anna Krushelnitskaya
Ann Arbor, MI. USA

Anna Krushelnitskaya (b.1975) lives in Ann Arbor, MI. Anna’s original texts and translations appear in Russian and in English in various print and online publications. She has authored two collections of poems in English. Anna’s most voluminous work is the 700-page bilingual interview collection Cold War Casual/ Простая холодная война (2019).

Yulia Fridman/ Юлия Фридман
Bookshelf
by Ian Probstein

A new collection of poems by Ian Probstein. (In Russian)

by Ilya Perelmuter (editor)

Launched in 2012, “Four Centuries” is an international electronic magazine of Russian poetry in translation.

by Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Ehrenburg (1891–1967) was one of the most prolific Russian writers of the twentieth century.  Babi Yar and Other Poems, translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya, is a representative selection of Ehrenburg’s poetry, available in English for the first time.

by William Conelly

Young readers will love this delightful work of children’s verse by poet William Conelly, accompanied by Nadia Kossman’s imaginative, evocative illustrations.

by Maria Galina

A book of poems by Maria Galina, put together and completed exactly one day before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is Galina’s seventh book of poems. With translations by Anna Halberstadt and Ainsley Morse.

by Aleksandr Kabanov

The first bilingual (Russian-English) collection of poems by Aleksandr Kabanov, one of Ukraine’s major poets, “Elements for God” includes poems that predicted – and now chronicle – Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Videos
Three Questions. A Documentary by Vita Shtivelman
Play Video
Poetry Reading in Honor of Brodsky’s 81st Birthday
Length: 1:35:40