• Язык:
    Английский (English)
Источник:
  • The Heritage of Russian Verse. Introduced and edited by Dimitri Obolensky

The Sixth Sense

Шестое чувство

Fine is the wine that is in love with us, and the goodly bread that goes into the oven for our sake, and the woman whom we enjoy, after she has tormented us to the full.

But what are we to do with the rose-coloured sunset above a sky that is growing cold, where there is silence and unearthly calm, what are we to do with immortal verses?

You can't eat, or drink, or kiss them... The moment flies unchecked, and we wring our hands, but still we are condemned to pass wide, wide of the mark.

Just as a boy, forgetting his games, sometimes watches the girls bathing and, knowing nothing of love, is yet tormented by a mysterious desire;

just as once upon a time the slippery creature, feeling on its back the still unformed wings, howled from a sense of impotence in the overgrown thickets —

so century after century — how soon, O Lord ? — under the knife of nature and art our spirit cries out, the flesh grows faint, as they bring to birth an organ of the sixth sense.

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She

I know a woman, full of silence, / Her bitter weariness from words, / Dwells in mysterious, blinking eyelids / Their widened pupils, secret worlds. / Her soul is greedily wide open / To copper music of sweet verse. / To life, that’s worldly, pleasant often, / She’s deaf and...

The Red Sea

Greetings, Red Sea, shark soup, / Negro bath, sand cauldron! / Like stone cactus flowers / limestone, not moss, blooms on your cliffs. / / Sea-monsters swept up by the tide lie dying / in anguish, out on your islands / in the burning sand: octopi, tritons, swordfish. / / From Afr...

The Sick Man

Only one thing torments my delirium: / how certain sharp lines go on for ever, / and a bell rings and rings and rings / like a clock marking off eternity. / / Just so, after death, / eyes stare into darkness / (the agonized hope of resurrection) / trying to see familiar visions. / ...

Offensive

This country could have been paradise: / it’s a den of fire. / We've been advancing for four days, / we’ve not eaten for four days. / / In this strange, bright hour / we don’t need earth’s bread: / the Lord’s Word / is better nourishment. / / The b...

The Cathedral at Padua

Marvellous, and sad - yes, that’s what this temple / is - a joy, a temptation, a threat. / Eyes exhausted with desire / bum in the slits of confessional windows. / / The organ melody rises, falls, / then swells fuller and more terrible, / like blood in dark church-granite veins ...

The Sun of the Spirit

How could we walk in peace, before, / expecting no joy, no disaster, / not dreaming of battles, of flaming retreats, / or the roaring trumpet of victory ? / / How could we - but it’s not too late, / the sun of the spirit bends down to us - / soothing, threatening, it pours / a...