The gay day flames. The grass is still.
Like greedy impotence, poppies rise,
like lips that lust and poison fill,
like wings of scarlet butteflies.
The gay day flames… The garden now
is empty. Lust and feast are done.
Like heads of hags, the poppies bow
beneath the bright cup of the sun.
by Иннокентий Фёдорович Анненский (Innokenty Fyodorovich Annensky)
translated by C. M. Bowra
Fun extra: Here is the poem performed in Russian.
Words lying empty, without breathing –
that don’t know why they exist at all.
Words with no goal, words with no meaning,
that shelter no one from the cold
and haven’t fed a single soul.
Words of impotence – of the weak!
Words that don’t dare, too shy to speak.
They give no heat, they shed no light,
but, with an orphan’s grief, go mute,
not knowing they are mutilated.
by Мария Сергеевна Петровых (Maria Sergeyevna Petrovykh)
translated by Boris Dralyuk