Mikhail Zenkevich - Two poems

All that is past appears to us a dream,
All future – a distant wish unfulfilled,
In the present moment only do we live
An immediate life that is fully real.

The uninterrupted moment's lightning flash
into the here and now is what makes us as
indestructible as melded metal seams –
of our wished-for futures, our past dreams.

20 December 1940

How many years now I've silently desired
to trade in my bookcase for a simple shelf
and rebind my poetry books in new covers.
Oh, Muse, forgive a poet's selfish dreams.
Money pans, flashes, and is gone in a blink.
A poet's dreams may never be fulfilled.

10 January 1941

Translated by Alex Cigale


Anonymous said…
Thank you for helping me spread the words of Russian poetry in English you will be pleased to know that the next issue of Ancora Imparo will contain my translations of 3 more Mikhail Zenkevich poems along with an essay, "Who Needs a Sixth Acmeist?" on the occasion of the Centennial of The Guild of Poets. Collegially, Alex Cigale
http://ancoraimparo.org/ (forthcoming July 2011)

Popular posts from this blog

Solzhenitsyn’s cathedrals

Svetlana Alexievich: ‘After communism we thought everything would be fine. But people don’t understand freedom’

Darkness of a drawer - Mikhail Bulgakov