Anna Arutunyan does a liberal translation of Alexander Vvedensky

This is an excerpt from the “Guest on a Horse” poem:

Sleek and simple was the stallion
As transparent as a stream.
Long of mare and hurried temper,
Said that he would like some cream.
“I’m the chairman of this meeting!
Come to join you and parley.
Teach me what to do, Creator!”
God replied to him, “Okay.”
Then the stallion took a stand
And I looked into his hand.
He wasn’t frightening!
And I realized then, I sinned.
God had taken from me matter:
Body, consciousness and will.
Everything came back to me.
In the boiling pot was winter;
In the stream a prison’s chill.
In the flower there was sickness.
In the june bug – strife, discord.
None of it made sense to me.
Could it be you’re absent, God?

If you read more about who Vvedensky was – and how he ended up – the goosebumps will be more plentiful.

Once again, this is a very liberal translation, but that’s precisely why I like it.

I often wonder where a mind like Vvedensky’s goes after death. You can imagine it to be a kind of mind that doesn’t entirely leave the landscape. I was once walking back from a wedding on a summer night in the Middle of Nowhere, Vladimir region, Russia, and as the tall grass swayed in the breeze on either side of the path, someone said, “The grass is full of dead poets” – and it was the truest thing I’d ever heard about that place.

gena in the grass

Dmitrii Artemyev on The Clown-Show to End All Clown-Shows

If you don’t read Russian, you probably don’t know of the existence of Dmitrii Arteymev, an opinion essayist for the popular website (APN stands for Agency of Political News) and self-described “Orthodox Christian.”

I have to say, I envy you.

The misery of knowing that a person like Dmitrii Artemyev exists is a burden that I cannot bear alone. Having invited all of my Russian-speaking friends and relatives to share it, I shall now inflict some choice bits on my non-Russian-speaking friends as well. The bits were originally part of an essay on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day.

What follows is a translation, combined with my own commentary. Please note that my good Russian-English dictionaries are presently away from me. I have, however, tried very hard to do this monstrosity justice… or injustice, as the case may be. Continue reading “Dmitrii Artemyev on The Clown-Show to End All Clown-Shows”