D.B. Shell. A Spot of Yellow on a Field of Blue. Translated into Russian by Dmitri Manin

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D.B. Shell. A Spot of Yellow on a Field of Blue. Translated into Russian by Dmitri Manin
D.B. Shell. A Spot of Yellow on a Field of Blue. Translated into Russian by Dmitri Manin

 
SONG (to be played to guitar music)
 
The Original:
 
Maybe it’s a train in the distance,

someone coming but I don’t have a clue,

homebound on an overcast night.

a spot of yellow on a field of blue

 
Maybe I could have lived better.

Who knows why we do what we do

like a painting I saw in a gallery

a spot of yellow on a field of blue.

 
It’s been raining buckets of pain.

There’re too many doctors in my brain.

Forgive me please, you’re not to blame.

Tell me again, I’ve forgotten your name.

 
I got a heart and I keep it safe.

Live long, you see what’s true.

I love when life seems clear like

a spot of yellow on a field of blue.
 

* * *
 
Поезд ли возник в отдаленье,

может быть, кто-то спешит домой,

путник неведомый темной ночью:

на синем поле всплеск золотой.
 

Я мог бы, верно, прожить и лучше,

бог весть, зачем двинул этой тропой,

как картина, увиденная в музее:

на синем поле всплеск золотой.

 
Беды – ливнем, как из ведра.

В башке моей – одни доктора.

Прости, это ведь не твоя вина.

Кто ты ты? Я все позабыл имена.
 

Сердце взаймы не беру, не даю.

Век живи, и со всей простотой

увидишь правду, прекрасную, как

на синем поле всплеск золотой.
 

About the Author:

D.B. Shell
D.B. Shell
Kingston, NY, USA

D.B. Schell is a New York-based artist and owner/manager of Green Kill Gallery in Kingston, NY. He divides his time between administrative duties, guitar, digital painting, and lyrical poetry. He is also the creator of Mr. Drinkwater Cartoons, a web-based political cartoon series that ran from the late 1990s until 2012.

About the Translator:

manin_2021 (1)
Dmitri Manin
California, USA

Dmitri Manin is a physicist, programmer, and translator of poetry. His translations from English and French into Russian have appeared in several book collections. His latest work is a complete translation of Ted Hughes’ “Crow” (Jaromír Hladík Press, 2020) and Allen Ginsberg’s “The Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems” (Podpisnie Izdaniya, 2021). Dmitri’s Russian-to-English translations have been published in journals (Cardinal Points, Delos, The Café Review, Metamorphoses, etc) and in Maria Stepanova’s “The Voice Over” (CUP, 2021). In 2017, his translation of Stepanova’s poem won the Compass Award competition. “Columns,” his new book of translations of Nikolai Zabolotsky’s poems, was published by Arc Publications in 2023 (https://eastwestliteraryforum.com/books/nikolai-zabolotsky-columns-poems).

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A collection of early poems by Zabolotsky, translated into English by Dmitri Manin. “Dmitri Manin’s translations retain the freshness of Zabolotsky’s vision.” – Boris Dralyuk

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