My fate is written on my star.
I rhyme my verses, but so far
I sing a song of “no return”,
For I can’t cross and I can’t spurn
The unseen line of “no return”.
Before I die I do not ask
Forgiveness for my sinful past.
I write my verses that my art
Might not be saved from pain of heart.
I cannot reach the highest hill
An inch or two is left me still.
I gaze, perhaps, no one can tell –
Behind me lies a living hell.
Beyond the line of “no return”
The road makes its sharpest turn
Where “unforgiveness“ lies unmourned
And happiness has no concern
That I can’t save my fate and soul
From will of God and thus I fall.
I whisper prayers I long forgot.
I walk on razors, asking God
To let me cross that “unseen” line
And leave my past far, far behind.
And moving forward I shall learn
The mystery of “no return”.
Translated from Russian by the poet, with later assistance by Vera Zubarev and Michael R. Burch
In her eyes is unchildish grief,
Widowed Russia weeping.
Piercing glances – furtive, brief,
Woman’s vigor in her childlike movements.
Mourning dress and veil and dirge,
Hunching shoulders trembling.
By the window, with a snowy verge,
Tearful candles burning,
Lowering veil upon her face –
Streaming tears intolerable.
In the distance – snowbound space,
Scattered roses – on the table.
Snow fell heavy the day of the duel
And the dawn was cold and dismal.
On the white – a red blood pool
The color of the roses
Brought by her beloved.
Translated from Russian by Valentina Sinkevich, with later assistance by Michael R. Burch