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.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 115th birthday.
I don’t believe in omens or fear Forebodings. I flee from neither slander Nor from poison. Death does not exist. Everyone’s immortal. Everything is too. No point in fearing death at seventeen, Or seventy. There’s only here and now, and light; Neither death, nor darkness, exists. We’re all already on the seashore; I’m one of those who’ll be hauling in the nets When a shoal of immortality swims by.
If you live in a house – the house will not fall. I’ll summon any of the centuries, Then enter one and build a house in it. That’s why your children and your wives Sit with me at one table, – The same for ancestor and grandson: The future is being accomplished now, If I raise my hand a little, All five beams of light will stay with you. Each day I used my collar bones For shoring up the past, as though with timber, I measured time with geodetic chains And marched across it, as though it were the Urals.
I tailored the age to fit me. We walked to the south, raising dust above the steppe; The tall weeds fumed; the grasshopper danced, Touching its antenna to the horse-shoes – and it prophesied, Threatening me with destruction, like a monk. I strapped my fate to the saddle; And even now, in these coming times, I stand up in the stirrups like a child.
I’m satisfied with deathlessness, For my blood to flow from age to age. Yet for a corner whose warmth I could rely on I’d willingly have given all my life, Whenever her flying needle Tugged me, like a thread, around the globe.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 155th birthday.
The light will burn and darken, then burn with stronger blaze, But unreturning darkens the sheen of youthful days. Glow then, and be enkindled, the while thou still art young, Let ever more undwindled the heart’s loud chords be strung, That something be remembered in waning years of woe, That chill old-age be lighted by that decayless glow, Born of exalted fancies, and headstrong youth’s ado, Heedless, but full of splendour, heedless and hallowed, too.
We present this work in honor of the 20th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Heavy are my verses— Stones uphill. I will carry them up to the crag, The resting place. I will fall face down in the weeds, Tears will not do. I will rend my strophe— The verse will burst out crying. Pain cuts into my palm— Nettles! The day’s bitter taste turns All to words.
We present this work in honor of the 90th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Don’t – no – don’t open your arms Don’t let me out – no words needed. Your kiss is so burning fragrant And, like a tent, our alcove is starless. Another – again – centuries to live out in an instant, Let me die – die with me. The silent night pours the spell of frenzy, Dew ringing on the ground brings heat. Here the star chambers opened wide, In a kiss, merging with one life, Don’t – no – don’t open your arms, Let me die! Die with me!