We present this work in honor of the 25th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Even if you are not with me, the memories of you are with me. My heart sees you, even if you are made vanished from my vision. The eye sees who it loves but will end up losing the sight of them. But the one who sees with their heart, will never lose the sight (of the people they love).
I sit alone on an empty step, the crystal dew is chill; As night grows deep a certain shadow falls upon my robe. From whence that sound of pestles pounding, hurrying the moon, Gazing down on a forlorn figure—heart about to break?
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 95th birthday.
Let’s say I knock on your door early one morning, And wake you up: That is, the fog still hasn’t lifted off the Golden Horn The ferry boats are blowing off their horns It’s still the wee hours of the dawn The bridge would still be up. If I knock on your door one day early in the morn’ … Let’s say my trip has taken me a while The train has crossed over iron bridges in the night Villages on top of the mountains with five or ten houses, Telegraph poles along the route They were running to keep up with us. Let’s say I sang songs out from the window Let’s say I kept dozing off and waking up again My ticket was third class, So much for poverty. Let’s say I couldn’t afford that meerschaum necklace, So I bought you an apple from Sapanca. “Haydarpasa here I come,” is how I arrived The ferry boat shimmering at the pier, Somewhat of a chill in the air, The sea smelling tar and fishes Let’s say I crossed to the other side with a row boat from the bridge In a single breath I climbed up our hill… If I knock on your door in the wee hours of one morn’ “Who is it?” you’d ask sleepily from the other side Your hair mussed up, still feeling groggy God knows how beautiful you’d look my love, If I knock on your door early one morning, And wake you up from your sleep, That is, the fog still hasn’t lifted off the Golden Horn The factory whistles are blowing.
Sing the evil days we see, and the worse that are to be, In such doggerel as dejection will allow, We are pilgrims, sorrow-led, with no Beulah on ahead, No elysian Up the Country for us now.
For the settlements extend till they seem to have no end; Spreading silently, you can’t tell when or how; And a home-infested land stretches out on every hand, So there is no Up the Country for us now.
On the six-foot Mountain peak, up and down the dubious creek, Where the cockatoos alone should make a row, There the rooster tears his throat, to announce with homely note, That there is no Up the Country for us now.
Where the dingo should be seen, sounds the Army tambourine, While the hardest case surrenders with a vow; And the church-bell, going strong, makes us feel we’ve lived too long, Since there is no Up the Country for us now.
And along the pine-ridge side, where the mallee-hen should hide, You will see some children driving home a cow; Whilst, ballooning on a line, female garniture gives sign, That there is no Up the Country for us now.
Here, in place of emu’s eggs, you will find surveyors’ pegs, And the culvert where there ought to be a slough; There, a mortise in the ground, shows the digger has been round, And has left no Up the Country for us now.
And across this fenced-in view, like our friend the well-sung Jew, Goes the swaggy, with a frown upon his brow, He is cabin’d, cribb’d, confin’d, for the thought is on his mind, That there is no Up the Country for him now.
And the boy that bolts from home has no decent place to roam, No region with adventure to endow, But his ardent spirit cools at the sight of farms and schools, Hence, there is no Up the Country for him now.
Such a settling, spreading curse must infallibly grow worse, Till the saltbush disappears before the plough, But the future, evil-fraught, is forgotten in the thought, That there is no Up the Country for us now.
We must do a steady shift, and devote our minds to thrift, Till we reach at length the standard of the Chow, For we’re crumpled side by side in a world no longer wide, And there is no Up the Country for us now.
Better we were cold and still, with our famous Jim and Bill, Beneath the interdicted wattle-bough, For the angels made our date five-and-twenty years too late, And there is no Up the Country for us now.
When I woke up this morning I knew you were mortally wounded that I was too that our days were numbered our nights that someone had counted them without letting us know that more than ever I had to love you you had to love me. I inhaled your fragrance I watched you sleeping I ran the tips of my fingers over your skin remembered the friends whose quota was filled and are on the other side: the one who died a natural death the one who fell in combat the one they tortured in jail who kicked aside his death. I brushed your warmth with my lips: mortally wounded my love perhaps tomorrow and I loved you more than ever and you loved me as well.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 265th birthday.
Inhabitant of hilly Olympus— Kheraskov! Inspired by Phoebus, Heralded conversant of the Muses; The sounds of your immortal lyre Proclaiming Moscow’s arduous captivity Yet once again elicit the tears of the Slavs. They, both loudly and harmoniously, Depict for us the indomitable spirit Of our ancestors, dauntless in adversity, To leaven our recent sorrows’ load.
Moscow! Vicious Napoleon, Hungrier than Attila, came to embody For the world an epitome of brutality; All the hayfields covered with corpses, Death, fire, looting proceed unimpeded, A shrine in the woods our only guidance; Rattled and shaken by Hell’s own breath, Kremlin itself is severed from the earth And racing through the expanse of air, Strikes the appearance of a fiery fortress.
The chronicler will document The dastardly deeds of these latter days; Progeny will give no credence to the bard, Believing his tale a work of imagination. Both the one and the other will represent That the Grand Caesar of the white lands, Having shifted the North after himself, Routing, trammeled the treacherous enemy, And the Russian is erasing with his mighty hand All trace of indecency from the face of the earth.