Thursday, 25 October 2012

Nikolay Zabolotsky: Autumn



When day is done and nature doesn't choose
The light to her own taste,
The spacious halls of autumn woods
Stand open to the air like clean houses.
Hawks live in them, and crows pass the night,
The clouds above them drift like ghosts.

The substance of autumn leaves has dried
And blanketed the land, while in the distance
A large four-legged creature
Walks, lowing, towards a misty village
Bull, bull! Is it true you are no longer king?
A maple leaf reminds us all of amber.

O Autumn Spirit, give me strength to rule my pen!
In the air's structure there's diamond.
The bull retreates beyond the bend,
The sun's mass
Hangs like a misty ball above the land
And glittering, bloodies the land's edge.

Turning a round eye under its lid
A large bird flies low.
Its glide suggests a human being.
Or, at the very least he hides
In embryonic state between the wide wings.
A beetle opens up its little house amidst the leaves.

The architecture of autumn. Its arrangement
Of airy space, woods, river,
The arrangement of animals and people,
When through the air the rings and curls of leaves
Are flying and the light is of a certain cast,-
This, among other signs, is what we choose.

A beetle opens up its little house amidst the leaves
And poking out its horns, looks out,
The beetle digs up various roots
And puts them in a pile,
Then bugles through its tiny horn
And hides again, a tiny god.

But here comes the wind. All that was clean,
Spacious, shiny, dry,-
All has turned gray, unpleasant, hazy,
Indistinct. The wind dispels the smoke,
Tosses the leaves into piles, whirls the air,
And explodes the surface of the land like powder.

And all of nature starts to freeze.
A maple leaf, like copper,
Resounds against a tiny twig.
And we must understand this as a sign,
The nature sends to us
As she sets out on another season.

1932

No comments: