Bella Akhmadulina: The Candle

Bella (Izabella) Akhatovna Akhmadulina, (10 April 1937 – 29 November 2010) 

You need the simple candle to flash,
The simple one, the wax cylinder,
And the old style that ere was hidden,
In your remembrance will be fresh.

And then will hurry your pen, light,
To those scripts, sunk in rhetoric,
That complex, reasonable, phonic…
And a good will lay self on your heart.

And now you look at your friends’ sight
More often in the way old-fashioned,
And being very gentle and patient,
Would smooth the waxy stalactite.

And Pushkin friendly looks at you,
And there’s no night, and candles are winking,
And just the test of Russian speaking
Is clear and cool as heaven’s blue.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, February 1, 2004

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