Where is your cat, walking
On its own,
Lapping the milky mist
Where its leopard tread,
Where is your cat and your truth
Where on this earth?
Where is the cat, still not found,
Where the roof and the leak in it?
Where is the hoarse speech
Broken by the speed of sound?
Where is your clairvoyant autumn
and corn-bins of dreams?
Where is your phosphorescent cat
and you yourself?
by Инна Львовна Лиснянская (Inna Lvovna Lisnyanskaya)
from В пригороде Содома (In the Suburb of Sodom) / Вдали от Содома (Far from Sodom)
translated by Daniel Weissbort
Где кошка твоя, гуляющая
Сама по себе,
Молочный туман лакающая
В густом сентябре?
Где поступь её леопардовая
И фосфор во мгле,
Где кошка твоя и где правда твоя
На этой земле?
Где кошка, ещё не отловленная,
Где крыша и течь?
Где скоростью звука надломленная
Где осень твоя ясновидческая
И снов закрома?
Где кошка твоя фосфорическая
И где ты сама?
Additional information: Inna Lisnianskaya was the wife of Semyon Lipkin. There isn’t much about her in English so if you want to know more you may have to research her husband initially and work from there for biographical details. However one collection of her poetic works titled ‘Far from Sodom‘ is available in English should you wish to read more of her writing.
She was born in Baku and published her first collection in 1957 then moved to Moscow three years later. In 1979 she and her husband resigned from the Union of Soviet Writers in protest to the expulsion of Viktor Yerofeyev and Yevgeny Popov from it. The following seven years her works were only published abroad though from 1986 she was able to publish regularly and was awarded several important prizes.
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