Sergey Plotov. Translated by Dmitri Manin

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Sergey Plotov. Translated by Dmitri Manin
"Abstraction" by Mark Steiner
Sergey Plotov. Translated by Dmitri Manin

 
Is it in our genome

That something always goes wrong?

We were building the Third Rome –

We built a Second Pyongyang.
 

We moved forward and never strayed,

We were proudly standing guard.

We were marching to a parade

But ended up at a graveyard.
 

We’re scratching our heads – oh well,

That’s the fate into which we were born…

And what about Gabriel?

He’s gonna blow his horn.

 
 
The Original
 
Что-то не то творим –

В схеме, видать, изъян.

Строили Третий Рим –

Вышел второй Пхеньян.

 
Дружно смыкали ряд.

Высились в полный рост.

Двигались на парад –

Прибыли на погост.

 
Морщим теперь чело.

Думаем: не судьба…

А Гавриил чего?

Дело его – труба.

 

About the Author:

Sergey Plotov
Sergey Plotov
Omsk / Moscow, Russia

Born on May 25, 1961, in Omsk. Studied acting, worked in theaters in Khabarovsk and Chelyabinsk. In 2005, Sergey moved to Moscow. He is well known as a scriptwriter and playwright. His plays are produced in Moscow’s leading theaters. He has been writing poetry since the age of 15.

About the Translator:

Dmitri Manin
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 a poem by Stepanova won the Compass Award competition.

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Sergey Plotov Сергей Плотов
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