Right now, most of my friends' minds are understandably busy thinking about politics, economy, coronavirus and other great legacy of 2020. I have thought about all of those plenty, and worried my share. So I hope you will forgive me for offering you not my take on the latest events but a glimpse into my creative past.
Sometime between 2001 and 2007, I wrote poems (in Russian). I did not keep dates or the order of appearance, but I saved texts that I liked most. Years passed without me rereading them, although sometimes a line or a verse would randomly pop up in my head. Recently, I decided to take a look at what I had created back then, and I realized that I still like it.
Since this website is meant to represent me holistically and not just professionally, I have added a special page for some side (or unfinished) projects. The problem is, of course, that my current audience is mostly English-speaking, while the poems of the past are in the language of my past. So the plan is to gradually translate them, keeping their meaning but disregarding rhythms and rhymes. Let's see whether I will actually follow through...
In case you wonder what's the point of a translation that honors the contents but not the form, I want to say: I know it's not ideal. But if you can see, with your mind's eye, images that my poems are trying to paint with words, I will be content.
So one day, following sleepy roads
Covered with autumn leaves,
Without any hope of ever being forgiven,
I came back to my old city.*
There, with street lights gleaming through their eyelids,
Avenues were arching their backs.
The city was hiding something behind the closed doors.
Bridges were swaying lightly in the emptiness...
I have seen this city so often in my dreams...
Perhaps this city is just a dream?
I will wrap my coat tighter around me, and pop my collar,
And step onto the unsteady sky.
*In this poem, the narrator is male. This is evident only in Russian, where past tense verbs are gendered.
And here is the original in Russian:
И однажды по дорогам сонным,
Устланным осеннею листвой,
Не надеясь больше быть прощенным,
Я вернулся в старый город свой.
Там, блестя сквозь веки фонарями,
Выгибали улицы хребты.
Город что-то прятал за дверями.
Чуть качались в пустоте мосты...
Мне так часто снился этот город...
Может, этот город – только сон?
Запахнусь, и подниму свой ворот,
И ступлю на зыбкий небосклон.