It was a day like any other.
A woman friend of mine called round.
Without a tear she told me she’d
just buried her one true friend.
We sat in silence till the morning.
What words were there to say to her?
I’m a Leningrad widow too.
by Ольга Фёдоровна Берггольц (Olga Fyodorovna Berggolts)
a.k.a. Olga Fyodorovna Bergholz
translated by Robert Chandler
A Soviet poet, writer, playwright and journalist. She is most famous for her work on the Leningrad radio during the city’s blockade, when she became the symbol of city’s strength and determination.
Fun extra: Here is a recital of the entire poem in the original Russian:
2 thoughts on “February Diary [extract] by Olga Berggolts”
Does anyone know if the “Leningrad poem” by Berggolts was ever translated?
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I’ve briefly checked online and could find no evidence of an official English translation of the poem. However I may have overlooked any untitled excerpts or passages published separately with their own titles possibly (as has been the case with other longer pieces in my experience).
The most I found were a few selected lines from the poem on the blog linked below.
My own collection of Russian poetry, including a number of books which are out of print, include some of her other poems but nothing from ‘Leningrad Poem’ itself unfortunately. If they had I would have prioritised posting it for you.
If you do find any evidence of it having been translated do please tell me. 🙂