• Язык:
    Английский (English)
Источник:
  • Modern Russian Poetry. 1967

The Lost Streetcar

Заблудившийся трамвай

I was walking along the street as a stranger
And suddenly heard the cawing of crows.
The playing of lutes and distant thunder...
Before me a rushing streetcar arose.

How I managed to jump on the step as it passed me
Has remained a riddle to this day,
For it left a path in the air that was flaming
Even in daylight as it went its way.

It rushed like a storm that was dark and wingéd,
Lost in the depths of time somehow.
Stop the streetcar! Stop, stop, driver!
Stop the streetcar! Stop right now!

Too late. We had passed the wall already,
Slipped through the grove where the palm trees toss.
The Neva, the Nile, the Seine beneath us.
Three bridges we thundered across.

The face of an old beggar flashed past the window.
And his glance studied us, following us from the rear...
The same man, of course, the very same beggar,
Who died in Beirut sometime last year.

Where am I? My heart beats in replying
(Filled with a languor and care past control).
Do you see a station in which one can purchase
A ticket to the India of the soul?

Signboard... And the vegetable shop letters
Are painted with blood. I know here instead
Of cabbages, instead of rutabagas,
They sell only heads that are dead.

A man in a red shirt, face like an udder.
Cuts my head off too on the blocks.
It is lying together with the others
On the very bottom in a slippery box.

And there is a board fence in the alley,
A house with three windows and a lawn grown gray.
Stop the streetcar! Stop, stop, driver!
Stop the streetcar right away!

Now, Mashenka, you lived and sang here.
Wove carpets for me, the man you would wed.
Where now then is your voice and body?
Is it conceivable you are dead?

How you cried in your room so tiny!
And I in a powdered wig at the door
Was going to be presented to the Empress.
And I never saw you anymore.

I understand it now: Our freedom
Is only a light striking us from out-there.
People and spirits stand at the entrance
To a zoological garden of planets somewhere.

The sweet and familiar wind comes swiftly —
And across the bridge toward me full force
Flies the iron-gloved hand of the rider
— And two hoofs of his rearing horse.

The faithful fortress of orthodoxy,
Saint Isaac’s, rises heavenly.
There I’ll say a prayer for the health of
Mashenka And a simple ‘Rest in peace’ for me.

To breathe is hard; to live is painful...
My desolate heart is forever sad.
Mashenka, I never thought it possible
To love one so much and to feel so bad.

Другие переводы:


А вот еще:

I and You

Yes, I come from another country, / To your world I can never belong. / Tinkling guitars cannot please me, / I want a wild desolate song. / / I do not read my verses in drawing-rooms / To black-coats and dresses like shrouds. / I read my verses to dragons, / To the waterfalls and to...

Jaguar

Today I saw the strangest dream, / I dreamed I sparkled in the sky: / But life, the grim Madame, / Had cast bad fate my way. / / I’d been changed into a jaguar, / I burned with mad desires, / My heart flamed dreadful fire, / My muscles shook and shuddered. / / And in a de...

Giraffe

Today I see your gaze is especially sad, / And your hands embracing your knees, especially thin. / Listen: far, far away on Lake Chad* / A slender giraffe is grazing. / / Bestowed with the luxury of harmonious grace, / Its skin is decorated in patterns, so magical / That only the shad...

Lake Chad

On mysterious Lake Chad / Among the ancient baobabs / Guided by majestic Arabs / The carved-out feluccas scud / Among the trees along the banks / And from foothills spread with green, / To terrible gods, the maidens chant, / Priestesses with ebony skin. / / I was the wife of a mig...

The Tale of the Kings

"We are the splendid and strong, / Youthful kings, who glide, / Like clouds high in the sky, / Above the mirage of the lands. / / With eternal songs and dances / We erect a new temple. / Let us be drunk with the purple / That surely will stream from its windows. / / A window to...

Masquerade

In barren halls and secluded corridors / Today merry maskers were amassing, / Today in parlors, variegated colors / Like mad whirlwinds, swept through, dancing. / / They snaked about beneath dragons and moons, / Chinese vases were tossed among them, / Torches flamed and lutes strings ...