Dmitry Raskin. “They read names…”

Also in World:

1. file6mw2mma6i80r40w29mr
Dmitry Raskin. "They read names..."

 
Early in the morning, they read from a piece of paper,

From morning till night.

Old men read, students read,

They read by the Solovetsky stone,

They read by countless cemeteries,

And by countless ravines of this swollen, forgetful homeland;

They read names in Rome,

They read them in Paris,

And in Jerusalem,

In Berlin, in Toronto…

Surname, first name, patronymic, profession, age —

          shot, shot, shot.

Skvortsov, Nigmatulin, Ginsburg,

watchman, worker, doctor,

sixty years old, twenty-five, forty-nine —

          shot, shot, shot.

Feoktistov, Usvyatskaya, Haikin,

engineer, saleswoman, professor.

thirty-four years old, nineteen, forty —

          shot, shot, shot.

Lerner, Safonov, Smirnov,

cashier, nobleman, peasant,

fifty-two, sixty-three, thirty-five…

 
A stooge pontificates from the pulpit:

“This was done for the great Goal, for the great Power of our Homeland, for the sake of the great Power.”

Two buddies talk, sigh:

“Pity the people, of course, but the sausage was cheap.”

As for the registry of “foreign agents” — some will just shrug it off, it’s not their problem,

others will say there is no smoke without fire and not everything is so straighforward.

 
They read, from morning till evening:

Surname, first name, fate —

          shot, shot, shot…

 

Translated from Russian

About the Author:

1. Пхото.
Dmitry Raskin
born in Nizhny Novgorod

Dmitry Raskin (born in 1965) is a poet, writer, and playwright. Raskin has authored several books of intellectual prose, including novels “Chronicles of Paradise” (2013) and “Boris Superfin” (2017); the latter won the International Competition Best Book of the Year 2020 (Germany). He has also authored a number of science fiction works, e.g. “Masquerade of Worlds,” “Destiny and Other Attractions,” and two poetry collections. For Raskin, free verse is a way of thinking as well as a way of living.

Dmitry Raskin Дмитрий Раскин
Bookshelf
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 Mark Budman

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

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 Nina Kossman

A collection of poems in Russian. Published by Khudozhestvennaya literatura (Художественная литература). Moscow, 1990.

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!

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