City of splendour, city of poor,
spirit of grace and servitude,
heaven’s vault of palest lime,
boredom, granite, bitter cold –
still I miss you rather, for
down your streets from time to time
one may spy a tiny foot,
one may glimpse a lock of gold.
by Александр Сергеевич Пушкин (Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin)
a.k.a. Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin
translated by Anthony Wood
Fun fact: Pushkin is most likely alluding to St Petersburg prior to his exile.
March saw winter gain in strength –
bitter cold and unrelenting storms.
In reckless fury, blinding spite,
the wind blew only from the north.
No hint of spring. Gripped by inertia,
the heart slips all too close to places
of no return: no self, no words,
mere apathy and voicelessness.
Who can bring back our sight, our hearing?
Who can retrace the way to hearth
and home now that all trace of home
is gone, wiped from the earth?
by Мария Сергеевна Петровых (Maria Sergeyevna Petrovykh)
translated by Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski
the final line could be considered a sceptical response to Khrushchev’s Thaw during the, relatively, liberal period after Stalin’s death.
Also it is quite timely considering the current UK weather where ‘the Beast for the East’ and Storm Emma are double teaming the British Isles.