There will be no coffins. Our children will burn to ashes
In a mobile oven, and the smoke will swirl and waft
Over the fields of Ukraine where the black plume meshes
With the smoke of wildfire – up there, on the left.
Instead of the body, the doorbell will ring, a polite
Army captain will bring the ashes in a neat package
And place it silently on the bookshelf, right
By the photo of a brave soldier with demob patches,
Turned a contractnik. The captain will open his briefcase,
With a jerk of his head, as if something bothered
Him, he’ll fish out a paper, establish a base
On the stool, hold it out: sign here for non-disclosure.
She’ll sign. He’ll pick up his briefcase and hustle on
Past the TV with a crooning pop singer clown
And a bunk bed where on top the younger son,
A ninth-grade student leans over and stares down
At him as intensely as if waiting for a box of his own.
~ ~ ~
Гробов не будет. Наших детей сожгут
В походной печке, а дым развеют
Над украинским полем, и чёрный жгут
Сольётся с дымом пожара – вон там, левее.
Вместо тела вежливый капитан,
Позвонив в квартиру, доставит пепел
В аккуратном пакете и молча положит там,
Под фотографией, где залихватский дембель
Перерос в контракт. Расстегнув портфель,
Вынет бумагу и, дёрнув шеей,
Будто что-то мешает, усядется, как на мель,
На табурет: подпишите неразглашенье.
Она подпишет. И он поспешит назад
Мимо телека с Басковым недопетым
И двухъярусной койкой, где младший брат,
Девятиклассник, с него не спускает взгляд,
Свесившись – будто ждет своего пакета.
Tatiana Voltskaya is a Russian poet and a freelance correspondent for Radio Liberty in St. Petersburg. She was a laureate of the Pushkin scholarship (Germany, 1999), awards of the Zvezda magazine (2003), and the Interpoetry magazine (2016). Winner of the Voloshin competition (2018), the All-Russian poetry competition “The Lost Tram” (2019). In 2020, she became one of the winners of the competition announced by the composer Ilya Demutsky. She has been awarded the Pyotr Weil Free Russian Journalism. Voltskaya’s poems, as well as her reviews, were published in many Russian literary magazines; her work was translated into Swedish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, English, and Lithuanian. She has authored eleven collections of poetry.
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).
In this collection of 34 short stories, author Alexis Levitin, travel set in hand, takes the reader on a journey across several continents – and even into space – exploring the joys of chess and its effect on the lives of those who play.
A collection of essays and reviews by Art Beck. “These pieces are selected from a steady series of essays and reviews I found myself publishing in the late aughts of the still early century.”
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
A book of wartime poems by Alexandr Kabanov, one of Ukraine’s major poets, fighting for the independence of his country by means at his disposal – words and rhymes.
In this collection, Andrey Kneller has woven together his own poems with his translations of one of the most recognized and celebrated contemporary Russian poets, Vera Pavlova.