Kazhdyi vybiraet dlya sebya
Translated by Tanya WolfsonYury Levitansky * * * Everybody chooses for himself His religion, loyalties and women. Service to a prophet, or a demon, Everybody chooses for himself. Everybody chooses on his own The word for loving and the word for praying, A dueling foil, a sword for dragonslaying. Everybody chooses on his own. Everybody takes what fits him best In shield and armor, walking staff and sandals, In the final jury, judge and sentence, Everybody takes what fits him best. Everybody chooses for himself, I, too, try the best I can envision. I blame no-one else for my decisions. Everybody chooses for himself.
Translated by Tanya WolfsonDavid Samoilov AN AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER He has a photo of himself next to a girlfriend, friend and neighbor; at leisure and in tireless labor; holding a flute, a ball, a saber; himself - raising glass of wine; himself - receiving a diploma; himself - in front of roofs and walls, at gates of Sodom and Gomorrah; himself - next to a dappled steed, a monument, a tomb, a castle; next to a grotto or a fountain; dwarfed by a highrise or a mountain; after a night out and before; himself, himself, himself... Whatever for? He writes, poor man, not quite a sage, his unsophisticated story. Without awareness, still less glory he keeps a record of the age. And all this time he's in the midst of stars and storms, of rains and snows, of smiles and joys, of gasps and woes - a single gasp, and he is dust. Preserved on film (himself now laid to rest) is he who labored, quietly, to conquer life immortal via lenses and negatives and slides. But he had cosmos for his crib, and was himself a tiny cosmos of God's design, complete and flawless.. but much too simple, that's the rub. And now he's one in a downpour of raindrops... Who taught him to long for the immortality of splendor while knocking at its humble door? Top
Nu chto s togo chto ya tam byl
Translated by Tanya WolfsonYury Levitansky * * * So what if I'd gone through it all? It's been a while. I don't recall. I can't recall dates any more, nor the locations of attacks. (I am one atom of that war, a nameless private. I came back. I am one shot's mistaken trace, I'm bloody ice of January. I am imprisoned in that ice, like a fly in amber jewelry.) So what if I had seen it all? I've purged it all. I can't recall. I don't remember dates, nor days, nor names of villages and towns. (I am the hoarse scream in the fray, I'm foaming horses falling down. I am a day that will take lives, I am soldiers in a distant fight. I'm somber torch by common graves, and a dug-out's feeble candlelight.) So what if I had seen it all, that mad "To be or not to be." It's faded almost past recall. I want to crush that memory. I don't still dwell on that past war, the war still dwells inside of me, and tongues of the Eternal Flame are licking at me steadily. No tools exist to have me hewn out of that war, out of those years; There are no medicines to cure me of that winter, of those snows. We cannot part, it can't be done: I'm in that snow, I'm on that ground, until the snows without a sound, where all our tracks merge into one... So what if I had seen it all... Top
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