To my dear friend K. M. Fofanov
This day of spring is hot and gold,
The city’s entirely blinded by the sun.
I’m once more me, I’m once more young,
I’m once more happy and deep in love.
My soul sings and yearns for the countryside.
Everyone I address as brother…
What boundless freedom and room to move!
What songs, what flower are blooming now!
I can’t wait to leap into a cart
And jolt into the fresh meadows over ruts,
Look windburned peasants women in the eye
And embrace my enemy as a friend.
Rustle, rustle, you spring oak woods.
Grow, grass! Lilac, flower!
None are guilty, all men are innocent
On such a blessed day.
by Игорь Северянин (Игор Васильевич Лотарёв)
(Igor Severyanin a.ka. Igor Vasilevich Lotaryov)
translated by Bernard Meares
Дорогому К. М. Фофанову
Весенний день горяч и золот, –
Весь город солнцем ослеплен!
Я снова — я: я снова молод!
Я снова весел и влюблен!
Душа поет и рвется в поле,
Я всех чужих зову на «ты»…
Какой простор! Какая воля!
Какие песни и цветы!
Скорей бы — в бричке по ухабам!
Скорей бы — в юные луга!
Смотреть в лицо румяным бабам,
Как друга, целовать врага!
Шумите, вешние дубравы!
Расти, трава! Цвети, сирень!
Виновных нет: все люди правы
В такой благословенный день!
Additional information: Igor Severyanin (И́горь Северя́нин) whose real name was Igor Vasilyevich Lotaryov (И́горь Васи́льевич Лотарёв) (May 16, 1887 – December 20, 1941) was a Russian poet who presided over the circle of the so-called Ego-Futurists.
Konstantin Mikhailovich Fofanov (Константин Михайлович Фофанов) (1862-1911), to who the poem is dedicated, was a Russian poet noted for the transparent purity and musicality of his verse.
Severyanin, whose real surname was Lotaryov, was born into a noble family; his father was an army officer. He had no former higher education and published his first poems when he was only eighteen. In October 1911 Severyin announced the foundation of Egofuturism, which, in addition to the Futurists’ strident rejection of all past culture, placed special emphasis on egoism and individualism as the vital moving force. He was an outstanding reader of poetry and during a poetry evening in Moscow he was elected “King of the Poets” in spite of the presence of Aleksandr Blok and Vladimir Mayakovsky. From 1913 Severyanin’s popularity was beyond description, though not long-lived. His poetry contains an extraordinary mixture of exhibitionism, a flaunting of neologisms, and an extraordinary poetic gift. There is no mistaking the poems of Severyanin for anyone else’s.Biographical information about Severyanin, p.160-161, ‘Twentieth Century Russian Poetry’ (1993), compiled by Yevgeny Yevtushenko (ed. Albert C. Todd and Max Hayward) , published by Fourth Estate Limited by arrangement with Doubleday of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc. (transcribed as found in the original text).
In 1918 he emigrated to Estonia where he lived in a fishing village keeping his distance from émigré politics and groups, but managing to publish from time to time in Berlin, Belgrade, Tartu, and Bucharest. He was crossed off the list of poets worthy of attention by the Paris legislators of émigré fashion but not forgotten by Russian readers in the Soviet Union.
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