Ksenia Kazantseva. Translations by Dmitri Manin and Niles Watterson

Also in World:

insula-dulcamara-1921 1938. Paul Klee Insula Dulcamara
Paul Klee. Insula Dulcamara (fragment). 1921 - 1938
Ksenia Kazantseva. Translations by Dmitri Manin and Niles Watterson

Translation by Dmitri Manin
Punish us, merciful Lord, punish us,
Lead us into dark alleys and make us eat dust,
Show us the shiv, plug our pieholes,
All the same, we have no spirit, no soul.
All the same, we have no honor, no love,
Our temples have all been built on blood,
Our children are led in a zigzag pack
To the psycho who gobbles them for a snack.
Don’t spare us, Lord, hit us with bad luck,
Take away our last ruble, euro and buck,
Piss on us, beat us up, knock out our teeth,
Smear deadly poison on our bras and briefs.
Lure us into your blooming gardens,
Promise us pardon and then abandon us,
Hug us tight and snuff out once and for all,
All the same, we have no spirit, no soul.

Translation by Niles Watterson
Punish us justly, Lord, scourge and smite,
Behind a garage in the dead of night,
Brandish a blade, pull the garrote tight,
Who cares? Our dead souls won’t put up a fight.
Who cares? We don’t feel love or pride anymore,
Our temples are founded on blood and gore,
Our children are raised in a crooked path,
Devoured for dinner by a psychopath.
Proffer no pity, Lord, give no good will,
Don’t spare us a ruble or dollar bill,
Knock out our teeth and piss on our floors,
Smear lethal toxins in our under-drawers.
Tempt us with apples like Adam and Eve,
Promise redemption, but beat us like thieves,
Clutch us and crush us, grip our throats tight,
Who cares? Our dead souls won’t put up a fight.

The Original
Накажи нас, Господи, накажи,
Заведи нас ночью за гаражи,
Пригрози нам ножичком, придуши,
Все равно ни духа в нас, ни души.
Все равно ни гордости, ни любви,
Наши храмы строятся на крови,
Наши дети строятся невпопад,
На обед сжирает их психопат.
Не жалей нас, Господи, не жалей,
Не оставь ни долларов, ни рублей,
Выбей зубы нам, обоссы,
Смертоносным ядом натри трусы.
Яблоневым садом нас помани,
Обещай нам милость и обмани,
Обними, объятиями задуши,
Все равно ни духа в нас, ни души.

About the Author:

Ksenia Kazantseva
Ksenia Kazantseva
Moscow, Russia

Ksenia Kazantseva is a poet and composer. Her poems were included in Disbelief, an anthology of anti-war poetry (2022). She created several musical projects, such as Granddaughter of a Fantast and Nata Malama.

Ksenia Kazantseva Ксения Казанцева
by Nina Kossman

A collection of moving, often funny vignettes about a childhood spent in the Soviet Union.

“Vivid picture of life behind the Iron Curtain.” —Booklist
“This unique book will serve to promote discussions of freedom.” —School Library Journal

by Ian Probstein

A new collection of poems by Ian Probstein. (In Russian)

by Ilya Perelmuter (editor)

Launched in 2012, “Four Centuries” is an international electronic magazine of Russian poetry in translation.

by Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Ehrenburg (1891–1967) was one of the most prolific Russian writers of the twentieth century.  Babi Yar and Other Poems, translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya, is a representative selection of Ehrenburg’s poetry, available in English for the first time.

by William Conelly

Young readers will love this delightful work of children’s verse by poet William Conelly, accompanied by Nadia Kossman’s imaginative, evocative illustrations.

by Maria Galina

A book of poems by Maria Galina, put together and completed exactly one day before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is Galina’s seventh book of poems. With translations by Anna Halberstadt and Ainsley Morse.

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