Aleksandr Kabanov. Snowman’s Son. Translated by Marina Eskin

Also in World:

Aleksandr Kabanov. Snowman’s Son. Translated by Marina Eskin
Aleksandr Kabanov. Snowman’s Son. Translated by Marina Eskin

The snow of war that flies askew

ignoring all the rules,

it fiercely pierces us through and through

but partly stays the course.

Snow rested the seventh useless wing

on earth’s frozen spine,

the other luckier six it brought

underground to his son.

There, underground, the rink of ice

glitters and melts with the laughs

of kids killed casually by war:

let’s mold them a dad of snow.

But death is eerily cunning,

it swaps the crown for a pail –

amidst the hasty castling –

a carrot for the cross and nails.

I also am a snowman’s son,

despoiled of hearing and sight,

the Holy Ghost’s transmitter

through poems, through ages’ might.

And as I wander among folk

not tired, distraught, amazed,

I’m sure I know who killed the kids

to the last letter of their names.

And snow ascends like ashes,

above the voiceless ruins,

above my dreadful sureness,

above our victorious colors.

The Original
Военный снег, летящий врозь,

не признающий старых правил,

он нас с тобой прошил насквозь

и только часть себя оставил.

Седьмое, лишнее крыло –

снег возложил земле на спину,

а шесть, которым повезло,

с собою взял, под землю, к сыну.

А под землёй блестит в огне –

каток и плавится от смеха

детей, убитых на войне:

пора – лепить отца из снега.

Но смерть устроена хитро

и предлагает рокировку:

венец меняет на ведро,

а крест и гвозди на морковку.

Я тоже сын снеговика

и проводник святого духа –

через стихи, через века,

лишённый зрения и слуха.

И я хожу среди людей,

не уставая, удивлённо,

и знаю, кто убил детей –

побуквенно и поимённо.

И снег возносится, как дым,

над пепелищем безответным,

над страшным знанием моим,

над нашим знаменем победным.

About the Author:

1. Kabanov photo 1
Aleksandr Kabanov
Kyiv, Ukraine

Alexandr Kabanov (born 1968) is a Ukrainian poet who writes in Russian. He lives and works in Kyiv. He is the author of fourteen books of poems and numerous publications in magazines and newspapers. A book of his poems in English translation is available on Amazon:

About the Translator:

218088430_10225884543528577_7640761300469319979_n (2) (1)
Marina Eskin
Boston, MA, USA

Marina Eskin was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). She is a physicist by training. Marina is the author of four books of poetry in Russian, her texts and translations appear in various print and online publications. She is a member of the editorial board of “Interpoesia” journal.

Alexandr Kabanov Александр Кабанов
by Aleksandr Kabanov

A book of wartime poems by Alexandr Kabanov, one of Ukraine’s major poets, fighting for the independence of his country by means at his disposal – words and rhymes.

by Mark Budman

Every character in these twenty-two interlinked stories is an immigrant from a place real or imaginary. (Magic realism/immigrant fiction.)

by Andrey Kneller

In this collection, Andrey Kneller has woven together his own poems with his translations of one of the most recognized and celebrated contemporary Russian poets, Vera Pavlova.

by Osip Mandelstam

This collection, compiled, translated, and edited by poet and scholar Ian Probstein, provides Anglophone audiences with a powerful selection of Mandelstam’s most beloved and haunting poems.

by Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry

Four teenagers grow inseparable in the last days of the Soviet Union—but not all of them will live to see the new world arrive in this powerful debut novel, loosely based on Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.


by Victor Enyutin

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.

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