Беженец (Refugee) by Arseny Tarkovsky

You granted me some salt for the journey,
sprinkled so much white I lost my mind.
Holy Kama winter, you burn like light.
I live alone as wind in a winter field.

You’re stingy, Mother. Just give me
a little bread. The silos are filled
with snow. I’m hungry. My bag is heavy:
A loaf of sorrow for a bite of catastrophe.

The frost is gnawing my feet.
Who needs me? I’m a refugee.
You don’t care whether or not I breathe.

What should I do among your pearls
and the chill wrought silver
on the black Kama, at night, without a fire?

by Арсений Александрович Тарковский
(Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky)
(13 November 1941)
IV from Christopol Notebook
from Butterfly in the Hospital Orchard 1926-1945
translated by Philip Metres and Dimitri Psurtsev

Беженец

Не пожалела на дорогу соли,
Так насолила, что свела с ума.
Горишь, святая камская зима,
А я живу один, как ветер в поле.

Скупишься, мать, дала бы хлеба, что ли,
Полны ядреным снегом закрома,
Бери да ешь. Тяжка моя сума;
Полпуда горя и ломоть недоли.

Я ноги отморожу на ветру,
Я беженец, я никому не нужен,
Тебе-то все равно, а я умру.

Что делать мне среди твоих жемчужин
И кованного стужей серебра
На черной Каме, ночью, без костра?

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MrHearne

Russian and Welsh poetry. Updated every Sunday. Also reviews of literature, films, theatre, food and drink, etc. Any support or engagement is appreciated.

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