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

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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:

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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.

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