Farewell, dear friend, farewell –
you’re present in my heart.
We’ll meet again, the stars foretell,
though now we have to part.
Goodbye for now, goodbye, dear friend –
no handshake, words or grief.
To die is nothing new – but then,
what new is there in life?
by Сергей Александрович Есенин (Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin)
a.k.a. Sergey Yesenin / Esenin
translated by Robert Chandler and Anthony Rudolf
Not so fun facts about the poem’s composition: On 28 of December in 1925 Yesenin was found dead in the room in the Hotel Angleterre in St Petersburg. His last poem Goodbye my friend, goodbye (До свиданья, друг мой, до свиданья) according to Wolf Ehrlich was written by him the day before he died. Yesenin complained that there was no ink in the room, and he was forced to write with his blood. According to the consensus among academic researchers of Yesenin’s life, the poet was in a state of depression a week after he escaped from a mental clinic and committed suicide by hanging. A theory exists that Yesenin’s death was actually a murder by OGPU agents who staged it to look like suicide.
Original Russian version:
До свиданья, друг мой, до свиданья
До свиданья, друг мой, до свиданья.
Милый мой, ты у меня в груди.
Обещает встречу впереди.
До свиданья, друг мой, без руки, без слова,
Не грусти и не печаль бровей,-
В этой жизни умирать не ново,
Но и жить, конечно, не новей.