Boris Kokotov. A Caterpillar Builds a Cocoon

Also in World:

Boris Kokotov. A Caterpillar Builds a Cocoon
The Metamorphosis
Boris Kokotov. A Caterpillar Builds a Cocoon

Гусеница обустраивает кокон, вырубается без наркоза,
Перевоплощается в бабочку, что мало кого удивляет.
Может летать, оказывается, рожденный ползать.
Рожденный летать, пожалуй, вовсе не умирает.

Гусеница – прожорлива, бабочка – та постится,
Цветочную пыльцу переносит без видимого усилья.
Бабочками не рождаются, но можно в неё превратиться:
Отползать своё – и однажды расправить легкие крылья.


A caterpillar builds a cocoon, falls asleep without pills,
Goes through a transformation to become a butterfly.
One that’s born to crawl will fly over hills,
One that’s born to fly may never die.

A caterpillar searches restlessly for food.
A butterfly, carrying pollen, never eats.
One who was crawling has changed the route:
Jumped into the air and spread her wings!

Translated by the poet

About the Author:

Boris Kokotov
Boris Kokotov
Baltimore, USA

Boris Kokotov was born in Moscow. He has authored several poetry collections in Russian. His translations of works by German Romantic poets were published in “A Century of Translation” (“Век перевода”), an anthology of translated verse, in Moscow. His translation of Louise Glück’s “The Wild Iris” was published by Vodoley (Moscow, 2012). Since 2015, his original work in English, as well as his translations into English, appeared in many literary magazines. He lives in Baltimore.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Share on email
Boris Kokotov Борис Кокотов
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.

by Anna Krushelnitskaya

This collection of personal essays by a bi-national Russian/U.S. author offers glimpses into many things Soviet and post-Soviet: the sacred, the profane, the mundane, the little-discussed and the often-overlooked. What was a Soviet school dance like? Did communists go to church? Did communists listen to Donna Summer? If you want to find out, read on!

by Anna Krushelnitskaya

“Cold War Casual” is a collection of transcribed oral testimony and interviews translated from Russian into English and from English into Russian that delve into the effect of the events and the government propaganda of the Cold War era on regular citizens of countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

by Julia Wiener

Julia Wiener was born in the USSR a few years before the Second World War; her youth was spent during the “Thaw” period, and her maturity coincided with the years of “Soviet stagnation”, which, in her case, ended with her emigration to Israel in the early 1970s. Her wartime childhood, her Komsomol-student youth, her subsequent disillusionment, her meetings with well-known writers (Andrei Platonov, Victor Nekrasov, etc.) are described in a humorous style and colorful detail. Julia brings to life colorful characters – from her Moscow communal apartment neighbors to a hippie London lord, or an Arab family, headed by a devotee of classical Russian literature. No less diverse are the landscapes against which the events unfold: the steppes of Kazakhstan, the Garden of Gethsemane, New York, Amsterdam, London.

by Julia Wiener

Julia Wiener’s novels focus on those moments when illusory human existence collapses in the face of true life, be it spiritual purity, love, old age, or death.

by Nina Kossman

A collection of poems in Russian. Published by Khudozhestvennaya literatura. Moscow, 1990.

Play Video
Poetry Reading in Honor of Brodsky’s 81st Birthday
Length: 1:35:40
Play Video
The Café Review Poetry Reading in Russian and in English
Length: 2:16:23