Then summer took leave of the platform
and waiting room. Raising his cap,
the storm at night for souvenir
took snap after dazzling snap.
The lilac darkened. And the storm
came bounding in from the meadows
with a sheaf of lightning flashes
to light the office windows.
And when malicious delight ran
down corrugated iron in torrents,
and like charcoal on a drawing
the downpour crashed against the fence,
the avalanche of consciousness began
to glimmer: light, it seemed, would soon
food even those corners of reason
where now it is bright as noon.
by Бори́с Леони́дович Пастерна́к
(Boris Leonidovich Pasternak)
from Сестра моя - жизнь
(My Sister, Life)
translated by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France
Below is the original version of the poem in Cyrillic.
А затем прощалось лето С полустанком. Снявши шапку, Сто слепящих фотографий Ночью снял на память гром.
Меркла кисть сирени. B это Время он, нарвав охапку Молний, с поля ими трафил Озарить управский дом.
И когда по кровле зданья Разлилась волна злорадства И, как уголь по рисунку, Грянул ливень всем плетнем,
Стал мигать обвал сознанья: Вот, казалось, озарятся Даже те углы рассудка, Где теперь светло, как днем!
You were a snow baby. We should’ve called you Eira. You were almost marooned in hospital: jaundiced face yellow as egg-yolk, clutched head the shape of a shell.
You grew to your name, Bethan, grew round. Your plum cheeks swelled to its sound.
And now in town you let the flakes settle in your long hair, saying ‘Ne’ mind. I like ’em there.’
I played you Ommadawn: layers of cloud frost, hail and sun climbing till that lightning moment when you were born.
Wrapped still throught frozen nights, layers of a nest taken from the strands of our house: broken violin string, discarded lace and strap of a watch you never wore.
Your dreams hatch and drift with feathers of the pillow-bird you believe in no more.
by Mike Jenkins
from Red Landscapes
Fun Fact: Mike Jenkins’ daughter is the Welsh politician Bethan Jenkins AM, (born 9 December 1981), who has represented the South Wales West Region for Plaid Cymru as a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 2007.