Late Romantic roses

Translated from Russian: http://www.stihi.ru/2019/02/06/822

                ‘
                But the days go by—the thunderstorms subside,
                Russia is looking for trails to return home...
                How good, how fresh will be the roses
                That my country throws in my coffin!
                ’
                I. Severyanin. 1925.

A century has passed, and, once wet
From the blood with which the petals were sprinkled,
The roses withered, scarlet, like the date
Engraved in the centre of the white marble plaque.

Due to the years of wandering, the threads have thinned,
The threads that were stretching back to the Paleozoic;
Now, is is hard to explain to the world
What to look for on the tombstones in Palaiseau!

[Titles of magazines published by Russian emigrants in the 1920s in inverse commas.]
The ‘Cornfield’ ceased to be, the ‘Gold Flowers’ faded,
The ‘Northern Lights’ stopped gleaming...
And even on the day the Soviets left,
Acidifying the playa for acidophiles,

The pallid sheared grass remained silent,
The seeds did not come out of the fruitlets:
The rotten juice of bright-red carnations 
Had already defiled the soil.

I lived a life without having seen a juicy field,
And, only after cutting off my root with a knife,
I could finally encounter the floral ornaments
On the stone covered with fallen leaves.

On the soil spoiled with nitrous vitriol,
I shall lie down to die, and therefore
How good, how fresh will be the roses
That will sprout from my corpse!

February 6, 2019.


Рецензии