пятница, 11 октября 2013 г.

To Lilichka (translated from Mayakovsky)

 Vladimir Mayakovsky is my favorite Russian poet. I'm in awe from his poems and I admire him so much because I can never dream of writing even a tiny bit as well as he could. Nevertheless, I was once swept by an irresistible urge to translate one of his poems into English. I hope I could capture the meaning, because the rhythm turned out to be more melodical and not so edgy as his rhythm usually is.

***
TO LILICHKA

V.V. Mayakovsky

(translation)

Tobacco smoke devoured the air.
The room –
Inferno of Dante Alighieri.
Behind this window,
remember,
I dared
first time ecstatically your hands in mine to bury.


You sit here now,
iron of a heart.
One more day –
you might curse me
to leave.
In the dark my trembling arm will start
trying and failing to find a sleeve.
Running,
I’ll throw myself out into the city.
Wild,
despair-slain,
I’ll get demented.
Please, don’t,
my love,
have pity,
let’s say goodbye now, let’s end it.


Whatever happens,
my love –
a heavy load –
is around your neck,
nowhere to flee.
Let me with my last cry goad
away the bitterness of my aching plea.


Should a mule work to exhaustion –
he’ll retire,
lie down in a cold creek.
But to me
your love
is the only ocean,
no rest it gives me, no tears make it weak.


Should an elephant want some peace –
Kinglike he’ll lie down in arsoned sand.
I never know where you are or who with,
but your love
is the only
sun to my land.


A poet so tortured by his beloved
would think
and trade her for money and fame.
While I am
comforted by no clink
but the clink of your lovely name.
I won’t take poison,
nor jump off a roof,
a gun at my temple would come to no aid.
Unless it’s your look
that cuts me through,
I am immortal to any blade.


My worshiping
you will forget overnight,
as you will my soul, love-scorched and stray,
meaningless days will whirl
in a fight
the pages of my books to blow away.


Whatever can halt you, make you stop?
Dry leaves of my words
gasping for air? Well,
let me at least
with my last tender drops
drown your footsteps in farewell.


1 комментарий:

  1. There is so much incredible imagery here, and gorgeous language.
    I'm especially drawn to:
    "You sit here now,
    iron of a heart."
    and
    "While I am
    comforted by no clink
    but the clink of your lovely name."

    Just beautiful.

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