Loving, I am still dumbfounded
by the world and its beauty,
and nothing will make me renounce
the sweetness you grant me.
However hard my breath come,
while I stand here on earth
the sound of new life will be welcome
wherever it stirs.
Submissive to the sun’s rays,
roots go down into the grave
to seek from death the strength
to meet spring days.
by Афанасий Афанасьевич Фет (Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet)
a.k.a. Шеншин (Shenshin)
translated by Robert Chandler
In black memory you’ll find, fumbling,
A glove to the elbow that unlocks
A Petersburg night. And a crumbling
Air of sweetness in the murky box.
A wind from the gulf. And, there, between
The lines of a stormy page,
Blok, smiling scornfully, holds the scene,
The tragic tenor of the age.
by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova)
from Седьмая книга (The Seventh Book)
translation by D. M. Thomas
Fun fact: ‘Blok’ here of course refers to the Russian lyrical poet Alexander Blok who had died in 1921.