Flies, like black thoughts, have not quit me all day…
A. N. Apukhtin (1840 – 93)
I’ve grown weary of sleeplessness, dreams.
Locks of hair hang over my eyes:
I would like, with the poison of rhymes,
to drug thoughts I cannot abide.
I would like to unravel these knots…
Or is the whole thing a mistake?
In late autumn the flies are such pests –
their cold wings so horribly sticky.
Fly-thoughts crawl about, as in dreams,
they cover the paper in black…
Oh, how dead, and how dreadful they seem…
Tear them up, burn them up – quick!
by Иннокентий Фёдорович Анненский (Innokenty Fyodorovich Annensky)
translated by Boris Dralyuk
Bane of the gorgeous summer, meddlesome fly, why must you
torture me, ducking and weaving, clinging to face and to fingers?
Who was it gave you that sting that has power to cut short at will
thought on its albatross wings or the burning kisses of love?
You make of the peaceable thinker, bred on the pleasures of Europe,
a barbarous Scythian warrior, thirsting for enemy blood.
by Евгений Абрамович Баратынский (Yevgeny Abramovich Baratynsky)
translated by Peter France
At daybreak there spread through the heavens
Pale clouds like a turreted town:
The cupolas golden, fantastic,
White roofs and white walls shining down.
This citadel is my white city,
My city familiar and dear,
Above the dark earth as it slumbers,
Upon the pink sky builded clear.
And all that aerial city
Sails northward, sails softly, sails high;
And there on the height, some one beckons,—
But proffers no pinions to fly.
by Афанасий Афанасьевич Фет (Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet)
a.k.a. Шеншин (Shenshin)
translated by ???
Fun fact: A more straight forward English translation of the poem compared to the Scottish version posted previously Воздушный город (The Aerial City) by Afanasy Fet
‘You’re wanted on the telephone,’
Said the Spider to the Fly,
‘I think it is the Faroe Isles –
Or perhaps the Isle of Skye.’
The Fly he took the mouthpiece,
‘Thank you, kind sir,’ he said,
And while the Fly was speaking,
The Spider ate his head.
‘That was really delicious,’
Said the Spider, full of glee,
‘I think I’ll have a little rest,
Then have the trunk for tea.’
– by Carey Blyton
I saw a mouse set cheese traps
One morning after tea.
A fly read the flypaper
And though it seemed strange to me,
A cat burglar was stealing dogs
And right across the street
A lollipop man was being licked
From his head down to his feet.
– by Mike Harding