Rozhdestvensky Robert: другие произведения.

Collection of Poems

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    Robert Rozhdestvensky Collection of Poems (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)


Robert Rozhdestvensky

Collection of Poems

(translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)

  
  
  
  
      -- One, Indeed, Needs Very Little:
   Just to Look...
      -- We Are Perfectly Matched
      -- As Severe as a War...
      -- Museum of Natural Sciences
      -- For That Fellow
      -- Instants
      -- Nostalgia
      -- The Snow
      -- The Dream
      -- Peace and Quiet
      -- Hiroshima
      -- The Irreplaceable
      -- Monument to Soldier Alyosha in Plovdiv
  
  
  
  
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
   1.
   One, Indeed, Needs Very Little:
   Just to Look...
  
   One, indeed, needs very little:
   Look and find it in the end.
   To begin with, one needs people:
   just one foe
   and just
   one
   friend.
  
   One, indeed, needs very little
   Just a path to take one's leave,
   and one's wish is very simple
   He just wants
   his mom
   to live.
  
   One, indeed, needs very little:
   peace that follows stormy days.
   Just some fog and stars that twinkle,
   just
   one life
   and just one death.
  
  
   One just needs a morning paper,
   With mankind the kinship bonds.
   Just one planet, love and favour,
   Mother Earth!
   That's all one wants.
  
  
   Plus
   an interstellar road and
   dream of flying and high speed.
   That's a trifle, not important,
   That's not very much, indeed.
  
  
   Not a big award and wholly
   negligible podium.
   One
   does not need much
   if only
   he'd be waited for
   at home.
  
  
   2.
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
  
  
  
   We Are Perfectly Matched
  
   We've been getting along since the
   moment
   we'll remember a whole life long;
   just like words go with lips and like water
   goes with thirst, we're getting
   along.
  
   Like the sky goes with birds, and the
   ground
   Goes with snow when winter's around
   (we've been waiting for it
   so long),
   that's the way we are
   getting along..
  
   We were matched
   knowing nothing about
   what was good in this life,
   what was bad,
   and the calendar time
   has for ever
   coincided with us at that.
  
  
   3.
  
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
   As Severe as a War...
  
   As severe as a war was that cold
   winter
   drilled and pierced by the winds it was
   tempered
   snow lay on it in a bulk,
   bitter,
   and the homes under its weight.
   trembled.
  
   Frost would blow across the floor,
   sneaking,
   our teacher sneezed and coughed,
   patient.
   Ink would melt in our class-room,
   dripping.
   and the principle would cancel
   dictation.
  
   And I knew that the winds blew with
   reason,
   no surprise, in the morning I have
   a sore throat.
   All I have in this world from that
   season
   are the war and winter
   in my thought.
  
   Snow would storm and slash the ground,
   roaring,
   and the ice in the river bed was
   fierce..
   Flowers bloomed on the windows,
   growing,
   as if each was by a bullet
   pierced!
  
   Neighbor granny put on widow's
   shawl and
   sat up weeping till late
   hours...
   Like a war that winter was
   Long, and
   up to now it feels like cold
   showers.
  
  
  
  
  
   4
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
   Museum of Natural Sciences
  
   Brontosaurs
   Haven't come creeping up,
   pterodactyls
   have not come up flying
   to the present day Earth with its storms
   and the sun in the sky
   shining.
  
   There's no one
   to blame,
   I should say,
   It's their own fault
   entirely.
   They got lost,
   couldn't find their way
   finding death in the blind alley.
  
   Tree of life
   is stirring its leaves,
   up and down
   the branches are swaying.
   "man of wisdom"
   sits on the top
   of that tree
   deep in thought
   as if weighing.
  
   He's a thinker
   He knits his brows
   An idea at his heart
   is gnawing
   He is thinking about how
   He could crush himself
   On his own.
  
   He is chinning his hand, looks so good,
   progress leader,
   graceful and proud ...
   He will think up something!
   He would!
   You do not have to worry.
   No doubt!
  
   Age is flying
   over man's head.
   turns of time
   flow of life,
   dally...
   Is man also
   the nature's branch
   of
   barren and futile blind alley?!
  
  
   5.
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
   For That Fellow
  
  
   In the morning I'll get up
   early,
   I will go across the field
   roaming.
   Something's happened too my mind,
   really,
   I recall what never fell
   on me.
  
   Rain drops beat me in the cheeks,
   hollow,
   twenty years is a short time,
   rather.
   I have never known that
   fellow
   who had promised:
   "I'll be back, mother!"
  
   In the meantime, the field
   smells of bitterness,
   early winds seem to be
   green as grass.
   We wake up at midnight,
   and the sound we hear is
   storm or, perchance,
   roaring echo of war
   that has passed.
  
   It appears spring will be
   long and.
   harvest promises to be
   mellow..
   I am living in my good
   homeland,
   living for myself and that
   fellow.
  
   I just stoop under such weight
   daily;
   But I can't live otherwise,
   really,
   For he calls me and he keeps
   singing,
   and his song in me is now
   ringing.
  
   In the meantime, the field
   smells of bitterness,
   early winds seem to be
   green as grass.
   We wake up at midnight,
   and the sound we hear is
   storm or, perchance,
   roaring echo of war
   that has passed.
  
   6.
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
  
   Instants
  
  
   Do not look down on the seconds. Why?
   The time will come and you will see
   the reasons:
   like bullets at the temple they flow by,
   the instants
   the instants
   the instants
  
   Each instant has its own cause and aim,
   its own bells and marks,
   its own colours,
   the instants give some people painful shame
   disgrace immortality to others
  
   The instants are well pressed into the years,
   they are compressed and pressed into the centuries
   I cannot understand where
   the first
   and where on earth the final instant is.
  
   The momentary instants weave the rain,
   and water falls from heaven in a torrent.
   At times for many years you have
   to wait
   to see your very last and final moment.
   It will arrive as big as gulp some day
   in summer when your thirst is so insistent..
   And yet we should remember
   anyway
   our duty from the first to final instant
  
   Do not look down on the seconds. Why?
   The time will come and you will see, as imminence, -
   Like bullets at the temple they flow by,
   the instants
   the instants
   the instants
  
  
  
   7.
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
  
   Nostalgia
  
  
   One can be nostalgic for homeland,
   for the Urals, Bratsk-city, the Don and,
   for the deserts, the cliffs and the mountains,
   for transparent birch-trees in gardens,
   for the fields with storms so severe...
   I'm nostalgic for you, my dear.
   .
   For the mornings when you are awakened,
   Your eyes and your shoulders, naked.
   For the moments when you are around,
   For hot nights when I'm down and out,
   For your tears and words and for doubts,
   For your smiles and even your shouts!
   For your lips,
   for bicker and wrangle...
   I will fight nostalgia.
   I'll struggle.
  
  
   I am leaving, attacking the platforms,
   For some reason,
   I yell in the phones!
   -Please help me, my darling,
   I'm asking
   I am nostalgic, you know,
   I am gasping!
   No reply. You are under bed cover...
   You will see it
   if I recover.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
   8.
  
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
  
   The Snow
  
  
   Thorough the window
   snow had flown in that night
   And by morning
   it had not let up
   It is snowing playfully;
   and all is white,
   Looks like snowflakes in a bottle shaken up
  
   And it doesn't seem to know
   where to fly
   where it can find
   a dwelling place.
   It does no remember where's the earth and why there is grass
   and why the earth and space.
  
   Now it falls
   and now it's flying up,
   Up and down, at a loss,
   as I can see...
   I can understand the snow,
   I know what's up
   for it happened
   more than once
   to me.
  
   Time had stopped.
   And then it suddenly went back!
   All the clocks and watches
   vanished in the dark.
   I could not remember
   what to say and why
   I should laugh
   and why I had to cry.
  
   After autumn spring set it.
   Then winter came,
   I forgot all words
   and forgot your name,
   I could not remember why
   I needed you,
   you reminded me of it,
   it's true.
  
   Full of pride
   you came to me at will
   putting up with my indifference anew.
   Snow is melting
   on your lashes still...
   I just wonder
   what I'd do
   without you.
  
  
   9.
  
  
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
   The Dream
  
   To fall asleep!
   The light is off...
   The city's rattling
   outside.
   Kaleidoscope
   reflects the scene
   of everything
   that caught
   my sight..
  
   The little girl
   in a red wig.,
   a car,
   no end of bridges and
   Somebody said:
   "It's Moscow
   it is my place of birth,
   my friend..."
  
  
   The other one kept saying:
   "Yes!
   That life
   is gone, I think.
   There're are cars and bridge
   once again:
   "Well, gin or whisky,
   what do you drink?"
  
  
   To fall asleep now!
   Right away!
   To cut
   the memory some way.
   From bygone day to get away,
   to find
   new strength
   for the coming
   day!
  
  
   I doze.
   I'm silent now, you see.
   The ringing globe
   is empty place.
   And here again
   in front of me
   I have
   the most familiar
   ways.
  
   I must be off!
   Without delay!
   To feel the warmth of home I want.
   We'll meet again.
   I'm on my way!
   To spite
   the guardsmen
   at check point.
  
   The radars
   turn and spin
   at night.
   The tracker dogs
   growl in the dark
   But I am laughing
   and I walk,
   Unrecognized,
   I am going back...
  
   With snowflakes melting
   on my hand
   in open space! I feel so free!
   Across the ocean
   here I walk
   it looks
   so little
   in my dream!
  
   The tricks of borders
   look so small!
   They're hardly visible
   from height!
   I'll come up to the doorway
   You'll feel it,
   and wake up
   all right.!
  
  
   Come back now as a
   thorny tree,
   come back ,
   you girl,
   with a sharp sight.
   (Remember
   how we used to live:
   a fine step basement,
   on the right?).
  
  
   The vastness
   of the hasty words
   the greatness
   of a gentle phrase...
   Let it all be
   like on the first day.
   Let it all be
   like the first phase.
  
   If not,
   well, then,
   I think,
   Let all reproaches
   be anew,
   I will
   endure everything,
   if only, dear,
   I had you!
  
   If only you
   were in my arms
   And dreams...
   Why are you slow?!
   Come now!
   You see
   I have arrived.
   I'm waiting
   and I ask
   Do not be late!
  
   I wish I fell asleep!...
  
  
  
   10.
  
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
   Peace and Quiet
  
   It's quiet in grass.
   It is quiet.
   It's quiet in grass.
   And in canes on the bank,
   it's quiet in wood,
   you feel embarrassed
   to open your eyes
   and step
   on the ground.
   It's quiet and still.
   so quiet, that you feel
   pains in the back
   So that
   to utter a word
   is the same as
   to kill.
  
   The shuttering, howling
   and screaming world
   is ill, in dismay,
   It lies
   all swaddled cross-wise
   on the bedspread, tight.
   So quiet,
   it seems that all birds
   flock after flock.
   have flown away
   and people
   have abandoned the earth
   one by one
   they have taken to flight.
   .
   As if it has turned
   into a noiseless museum of
   quiet day.
   It's quiet,
   so you have to
   listen to music as if you must recall
   someone's face.
   It's quiet,
   so that the lowest thought
   can be heard from
   a distant place.
   So quiet
   that you want to begin
   a new life.
  
   It's so quiet...
  
  
  
  
  
   11.
  
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
  
   Hiroshima
  
   That is how the city won fame:
   A queer
   military man came,
   an old man
   with the face of young guy
   "come on,
   he said
   - fellows, let's fly.
   "Now, boys,
   there calls the bell,
   We are lucky like hell!"
  
   At 7: 49 today
   It was all just like yesterday.
   That's all
   - the officer sighed
   We've taken
   a lucky sight".
  
   At 8:12 in the morning
   It's time - they said.
   At 8:15
   A big puff of cloud
   flew up over the world.
   And roared
   Triumphantly.
   The sun blinked ,
   screwed it's eye turning cold,
   both shuddered -
   the Boing
   and God!...
   The pilot exclaimed:
   what a good sight!
   That very moment
   in the melted dark
   the sense of the good and the bad
   vanished
   and cracked.
  
   And people of the world
   Have heard the word:
   there is Hiroshima
   There is no Hiroshima.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
   12
  
  
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
   The Irreplaceable
  
   Somebody cries,
   and somebody growls,
   a lively song
   from windows resounds.
   And the old saying triumphs again:
   all are replaceable, women and men.
   cowards and
   heroes,
   laundresses,
   secretaries,
   all are replaceable.
   All is replaceable!
  
  
   Acting precisely and strictly
   as ever
   Let us replace our Lord by the devil!
   A soup by a soap
   and a pawn by a pawn,
   we have been doing it since
   we've been born.
  
   Let us replace
   hills by fields this instance,
   top managers
   by their assistants.
   A funeral by a joyful festival,
   All are replaceable.
   All is replaceable.
  
  
   It means
   we were christened vainly,
   and vainly
   we counted
   the harvest yearly.
   Vainly we drowned
   in lands of plowing
   vainly we worshipped
   Old Slavic writing.
   Vainly we bent over pikes that we caught.
   Vainly composers their melodies wrote.
   Vainly the architect
   his paper wastes
   vainly do mothers weep over the graves.
  
   Vainly attracted us
   roads inaccessible,
   All are replaceable.
   All is replaceable.
  
   I'm angry as ever
   I humbly swear
   by shuttered Heaven:
   The saying is lying!
   The saying
   is wrong!
   The river Volga
   is flowing along.
  
   Irreplaceable
   are winds so stormy,
   irreplaceable are
   Suzdal and Smolny!
  
   Irreplaceable
   are the tints of flags,
   irreplaceable
   is the good old flask.
  
   Irreplaceable
   are berry and flower,
   so is the academician Landau.
   Irreplaceable cosmic-liner,
   irreplaceable Korolyov, the designer.
   Even the artists of traveling circus
   Even the glaziers and simple workers,
   Even a cook
   of ambition incapable...
   are irreplaceable.
   Irreplaceable.
  
  
   I'm sorry, I will admit willy-nilly,
   life will go on
   when we perish, really.
   The irreplaceable grannies concern
   The little kids
   that have not yet grown.
   There will be new ones
   In Omsk and Tula,
   over the lilac woods
   and the tundra.
   There will be
   hundreds of thousands even,
   irreplaceable
   men and women.
   Irresponsible
   in power and strength,
   irreplaceable
   like Russia itself!
   No matter famous
   or not quite famous
   Ir-re-pla-ce-able men of genius!
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
   13.
  
   Robert Rozhdestvensky
  
   (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
  
   Monument io Soldier Alyosha in Plovdiv
  
   The view from here is as wide as the ocean,
   The horizon is almost dissolved in haze.
   Like a guardian angel
   Soldier Alyosha
   Over Plovdiv-city
   Is raised.
   Alyosha, the sculptor has made a mistake.
   Your looks must have cramped his style
   His knowlege of you must have been quite vague
   Or, perhaps, it was absolute null.
   You look like a boulder, sleepy and gray,
   A sort of a dumb rock.
   You're sullen in the stone
   While you used to be merry
   And were always
   Willing to talk...
   The haze will fall on the motionless forest
   Making it tenderly blue...
   Alyosha, now I am almost
   Ten years older than you...
   I just grew up after the war
   But I am courageous enough.
   I have seen a lot,
   You have seen much more,
   You have known the loss of life...
   It's no good to disturb the dead.
   I'd better give up. Quit. Lay off...
   Instead of asking: "Alyosha, how's death?"
   I ask: "Alyosha, how is life?"
   My question may sound strange, pure fluff,
   I just have to clear up this thing:
   Do I, in fact, live the kind of life
   For which you once ceased living?
   Believe me,
   it's my constant exam!
   I'm taking it all the time.
   I look at my own self, with bias
   Through your merciless eyes.
   And I cannot hide myself from these eyes,
   They don't set my mind at rest...
   I have to account for two lives!
   I've got two hearts in my chest!
   No danger will make me fearful or anxious
   For a soldier looks into my mind.
   Alyosha,
   I'm leaving for Russia.
   What shall I tell your mama?
  
  
  

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