About the Author

From the book Kliazma and Yauza
From the book The Wild Rose  
From the book Tristan and Isolde
From the book Old Songs
From the book Gates. Windows. Arches
From the book Stanzas in the Manner of Alexander Pope
From the book Stellae and Inscriptions
From the book The Iambic Verses
The Chinese Travelogue
From An Unfinished Book
From the book The Evening Song
From the book Elegies
From the book The Beginning of a Book
From the book The Wild Rose
Legends and Fantasies
(1976 - 1978)
To Zarya Alexandrovna Dolukhanova
If you carry the air in your arms, like a feeding child,
to the blossoming bush, to the unbudding roses, to the sternly
answering branches,
I swear we must see
this purple voice, the deep blood of silence,
this light, having taken monastic oaths, and enlivening the blood
in the ancient image and living in the dead branches
of mountain roses springing from the rocks
and accustomed to their freedom as to grief.

Don’t we dream of this darkness, this sharp-leaved bush,
the conversations of the fire over the falling of the stony river?..

“My waters run so swift that however much you look into them
you cannot find a reflection: even the plant of precious darkness
is not in them darkness – it groans about one thing:
who then will raise us, when even the sky will drop us?
Who is threatened by crazy happiness, immortal happiness –
who will stop the blood of the child who has plucked the rose?
Who will catch the wounded air with healing lips?
These waters are so swift
that no one can stop this air...

These waters are so swift that light in them doesn’t seem to be light,
and breathing circles, and we forget about this,
and still repeat,
passing the arcs in the air,
the conversations of fire
over the river, that carries away the gifts.”

Richard McKane


The Singing

To Zara Dolukhanova

If you take air into your arms the way you would an infant
into a bush ready to bloom, toward unyielding roses, toward branches
that answer sternly,
I swear that we will surely hear
that porphyrous voice, silence's deep-lying blood,
that light accepting the schema, bringing to life blood
in the ancient image, living in the perishing branches
of mountain roses, that run from behind boulders
and that are accustomed to grief as to their freedom.

Could it be that we dream of that darkness, that sharp-leafed bush,
the colloquies of fire over the falling of a stone-strewn river…

“My flowing waters run so fast, you will not notice reflections in them
no matter how hard you look: even a plant of the precious darkness
does not look like darkness in them,”–that is all it moans about:
“Who, after all, will lift us when even the sky lets us fall?
Who will stop after all the threat of insane, immortal joy,
– the blood of a child who tore a rose from a branch?
Who will catch the wounded air with healing lips? –
these waters run so fast
that no one will be able to stop him ...”

These waters run so fast that light does not seem like light in them,
and breathing gyrates, and we forget it,
continuing to repeat,
passing airy arches,
the colloquies of the fire
above the river that carries away our gifts.

Slava I. Yastremski and Michel Naydan
The Wild Rose
Second Legend
Sixth Legend
Seventh Legend. Death of Alexis the Roman Saint
Selva Selvaggia
Now in warm gold, in broad bindings...
Preamble to the Song
Strange Journey
The Flight of the Prodigal Sun
Night Legend. The Nun’s Funeral
Candlemas Day
Names fly out of the magical horn...
Cat, Butterfly, Candle
Water: The Peasant Woman
Eight Octets
In The Mood of Leopardi
I carry two books, as I go I am leaving...
We shall walk slowly and listen attentively...
I often dream of death offering...
Legends about ascetics are similar...
I cannot make them stop their music...
Three Mirrors
Farewell Wind
Somewhere in the corner of a neglected illness...
Journey of the magi
Mountain Lullaby
Morning in The Garden
The Cat’s Look
Azarovka. A Suite of Landscapes
Portrait of the Artist in his Picrure
Tenth Legend. Jacob
Eleventh Legend. Supper
Twelfth Legend. Sergey Radonezhsky
Magic Stone
A Faible
“I raise the radiance, like a fallen hand...
The Old Poet
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