“And soon all of us will sleep under the earth, we who never let each other sleep above it.”
“I opened my veins. Unstoppably
life spurts out with no remedy.
Now I set out bowls and plates.
Every bowl will be shallow.
Every plate will be small.
And overflowing their rims,
into the black earth, to nourish
the rushes unstoppably
without cure, gushes
“Somewhere in the night a
human being is drowning.”
“At the skin, my blood calls out to
your heart, my whole sky craves
an island of tenderness.
My rivers tilt towards you.”
“I have two enemies in all the world,
Two twins, inseparably fused:
The hunger of the hungry and the fullness of the full.”
“What shall I do, singer and first-born, in a
world where the deepest black is grey,
and inspiration is kept in a thermos?
with all this immensity
in a measured world? ”
“The eclipses of
poets are not foretold in the calender.”
“For the way of the comets is the poet's way.”
“I am only a shell where the ocean is still sounding.”
“У меня в Москве — купола горят!
У меня в Москве — колокола звонят!
И гробницы в ряд у меня стоят, —
В них царицы спят, и цари.
И не знаешь ты, что зарёй в Кремле
Легче дышится — чем на всей земле!
И не знаешь ты, что зарёй в Кремле
Я молюсь тебе — до зари!
И проходишь ты над своей Невой
О ту пору, как над рекой-Москвой
Я стою с опущенной головой,
И слипаются фонари.
Всей бессонницей я тебя люблю,
Всей бессонницей я тебе внемлю —
О ту пору, как по всему Кремлю
Но моя река — да с твоей рекой,
Но моя рука — да с твоей рукой
Не сойдутся, Радость моя, доколь
Не догонит заря — зари.
7 мая 1916
At home in Moscow - where the domes are burning,
at home in Moscow - in the sound of bells,
where I live the tombs - in their rows are standing
and in them Tsaritsas - are asleep and tsars.
And you don't know how - at dawn the Kremlin is
the easiest place to - breathe in the whole wide earth
and you don't know when - dawn reaches the Kremlin
I pray to you until - the next day comes
and I go with you - by your river Neva
even while beside - the Moscow river
I am standing here - with my head lowered
and the line of street lights - sticks fast together.
With my insomnia - I love you wholly.
With my insomnia - I listen for you,
just at the hour throughout - the Kremlin, men
who ring the bells - begin to waken,
Still my river - and your river
still my hand - and your hand
will never join, or not until
one dawn catches up another dawning.”
“An Attempt at Jealousy"
How is your life with an ordinary
woman? without the god inside her?
The queen supplanted—
How do you breathe now?
Flinch, waking up?
What do you do, poor man?
How’s your life with a tourist
on Earth? Her rib (do you love her?)
is it to your liking?
How do you live with cheap goods: is the market rising?
How’s kissing plaster-dust?
Are you bored with her new body?
How’s it going, with an earthly woman,
with no sixth sense?
Are you happy?
No? In a shallow pit—how is your life,
my beloved? Hard as mine
with another man?”
“Посвящаю эти строки
Тем, кто мне устроит гроб.
Приоткроют мой высокий,
Измененная без нужды,
С венчиком на лбу,-
Собственному сердцу чуждой
Буду я в гробу.
Не увидят на лице:
"Все мне слышно! Все мне видно!
Мне в гробу еще обидно
Быть как все".
Идешь, на меня похожий,
Глаза устремляя вниз.
Я их опускала – тоже!
Не думай, что здесь – могила,
Что я появлюсь, грозя...
Я слишком сама любила
Смеяться, когда нельзя!
И кровь приливала к коже,
И кудри мои вились...
Я тоже была, прохожий!
Но только не стой угрюмо,
Главу опустив на грудь.
Легко обо мне подумай,
Легко обо мне забудь.
Как луч тебя освещает!
Ты весь в золотой пыли...
- И пусть тебя не смущает
Мой голос из-под земли.”
“Wind snapped at me, warm and fragrant. The atmosphere was thick with pollen and micro-organisms, goading my body’s ancient defences.”
“Your boys okay?”
“Tired, edgy, but giving it all they’ve got. One of ‘em has sworn to get Vau, another is having a love affair with a woman he shouldn’t even look at, I’m collecting waifs and strays like an animal shelter, and we nearly killed a treasury agent. But if I told you the really bad stuff, you’d think I have problems.”
“But sometimes when you’re too careful it just turns into a different kind of carelessness.”
“Why are you here?”
“Oh— I came to tell the chieftain we’re going to die.” The girl said it quickly and with the same casual indifference as if she were announcing that the sun sets in the evening.
Persephone narrowed her eyes. “Excuse me? What did you say? Who’s going to die?”
“All of us.”
“All of whom?”
“Us.” The girl looked puzzled, but this time Persephone wasn’t certain if it was the tattoos or not.
“You and I?”
Suri sighed. “Yes— you, me, the funny man with the horn at the gate, everyone.”
“I saw it begin; even so, after battle, Ambrosious' very presence had give the wounded strength and the dying comfort. Whatever it was he had had about him, Arthur had the same; I was to see it often in the future; it seemed that he shed brightness and strength round him where he went, and still had it ever renewed in himself. As he grew older, I knew it would be renewed more hardly and at a cost, but now he was very young, with the flower of manhood still to come. After this, I thought, who could maintain that youth itself made him unfit for kingship? Not Lot, stiffened in his ambition, grimly scheming for a dead king's throne. It was Arthur's very youth which had whistled up today the best that men had in them, as a huntsman calls up the following back, or an enchanter whistles up the wind.”
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