• Язык:
    Английский (English)

My Readers

Мои читатели

An old tramp in Addis Ababa,
conqueror of many tribes,
sent me a black lance-bearer
bringing a greeting of my own poetry.
A lieutenant who runs gunboats
under enemy cannon
read me my poems, for a souvenir, one whole night
across the southern sea.
A man who shot the Tsar’s
ambassador, killed him in a crowd,
shook my hand,
thanked me for my poems.

Many of them, many of them—strong, vicious, gay,
killers of elephants, killers of people,
dead in deserts,
frozen at the edge of eternal ice—
as it should be, on this
strong, gay, vicious planet—
and they carry my poems in their saddlebags,
they read them in palm groves,
forget them on sinking ships.

They’re not insulted with sick nerves, in my poems,
not embarrassed by my heartfelt feelings,
not bored with pregnant hints
about what’s left in an egg when it’s eaten:
but when bullets whistle,
when waves crack in ships,
I teach them not to be afraid,
not to be afraid, and to do what must be done.

And when a beautiful woman,
the only woman in their world,
says: Not you, I don’t love you,
I teach them to smile
and leave and never come back.
And in their last hour,
when a red mist spreads across their eyes,
I’ll teach them how to remember
all their cruel, lovely lives, all
at once, and their country, loved and
strange, and how to stand in God’s
presence and speak simple, wise words,
and wait, calm, for His Judgment.

Другие переводы:


А вот еще:

The Dark-Blue Star

Your tormenting, wonderful, / inevitable beauty / ripped me out of my thin, / miserable, puling life, / / And I died. And I saw / a flame no one ever saw / before; my eyes went black, but I saw / a dark-blue star. / / A song: soft, then loud, then soft: / body and soul meltin...

I Can’t Forget

No, I can’t ever forget / your child’s mouth, your girl’s glance, / bold - I dream of you, / I speak, I think of you - always - like rhythm. / / I feel vast oceans / heaving as the moon yaws, / and whole galaxies, burning, / swinging as they have always swung, will...

The Dream

My nightmare woke me, groaning / with the most intense pain. / My dream: that you loved someone else / and he had hurt you. / / I ran out of bed / like a murderer from the guillotine, / and saw how the streetlights / shone dim, like animals’ eyes. / / Oh, no one, no one /...

She Who Scatters Stars

You’re not always proud, aloof; / you don’t always refuse me. / / You come to me, sometimes, / quietly, quietly, quietly, like in a dream. / / The hair above your forehead is heavy, full. / I’m never allowed to kiss it. / / And your wide eyes / are lit by a m...

Canzonet 1

How many of earth’s oceans I’ve sailed, oceans / ancient, gay, foam-covered; / how many matchless nights and days / have gone guiding caravans across the steppes... / / How we laughed, then, / my Muse and I, free... / Rhymes flew together like birds, / so many-I don&rsqu...

Canzonet 2

Your temple, Lord, is in Heaven, / but the earth is Your shelter, too. / Lime trees bloom in the forests, / and birds sing in the trees. / / Like Your cathedral bells, spring / moves across the fields, gay, / and flying on a dream’s wings / angels come to us, in spring. / /...