In Kiev by Yunna Morits

Why do I fly to that town,
With its blue cathedral on a hill?
I knock at the red doors
And feel lips on my throat.

I’m becoming myself entirely,
I am fed, like a bird, from the hand.
And on that rectangular rug
Firmly I take my stand.

Happy is he whose trade it is,
Lovingly in a crystal shower,
To cleanse my eyes, my mouth, my ears
Of all that drifted on the wind.

I dream my blouse becomes
Like powdered snow upon my back.
And before I leave, I dream
Of a dog staring straight at me.

By Ю́нна Петро́вна Мо́риц
(Yunna Petrovna Morits (Moritz)
Translated by Daniel Weissbort

Additional information: Morits was born in Kiev.

I couldn’t find the original Russian version for comparison so if anyone can link it or copy/paste it in the comments it would be very much appreciated.

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Leaving Cardiff by Dannie Abse

I wait in the evening air.

Sea-birds drop down to the sea.

I prepare to sail from where

the docks’ derelictions are.

 

I stand on the deck and stare,

slack hammocks of waves below,

while black shapes upon the pier

make the furthest star seem near.

 

Now the funnel’s negations blow

and my eyes, like spaces, fill,

and the knots of water flow,

pump to my eyes and spill.

 

For what who would choose to go

when who sailing made no choice?

Not for one second, I know,

can I be the same man twice.

 

The straw coloured flames flare still,

spokes over the long horizon,

and the boats under the hill

of Penarth, unload and move on.

 

by Dannie Abse

from Tenants of the House (1957)


Fun facts: This was written in 1957 and the former working docks, which by the time of the poem were ‘derelict’ and I myself recall in childhood walking through along the barrage, were redeveloped (‘gentrified’ wouldn’t be an understatement) in recent years into the Cardiff Bay area filled with bars, restaurants, the Wales Millennium Centre, the Senedd and BBC buildings amongst many other developments. Penarth is an affluent town, within walking distance along the coastline, south west of Cardiff .

All Right by R. S. Thomas

I look. You look

Away. No colour,

No ruffling of the brow’s

Surface betrays

Your feeling. As though I

Were not here; as

Though you were your own

Mirror, you arrange yourself

For the play. My eyes’

Adjectives; the way that

I scan you; the

Conjunction the flesh

Needs – all these

Are as nothing

To you. Serene, cool,

Motionless, no statue

Could show less

The impression of

My regard. Madam, I

Grant the artistry

Of your part. Let us

Consider it, then,

A finished performance.

 

by R. S. Thomas

from H’m (1972)