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)
Eight Octets

The almost-dead executioner will smile,
and big deeds will start.
The wheel of ancient evil
will turn and creak as ever.
Look then and drink terror,
and bite your tongue harder.
Ask for half-nurturing bread
from the hands of the desecrators of ashes.


Observe how the people die
and agree in their dreams that they will die.
How they choose the whip for themselves –
a rabble who has done violence on themselves.
Only a whisper, whisper, whisper,
like sand on a coffin board.
Only a disgusting and heard whisper.
Only a whisper and a hired howl.


This name is still warm.
There will be something to stain the black sheep with.
There will still be bast matting
and also there will be no hiding place in the sack.
Is it strange why this name
in its shame pierces the mind?
Do you see? Everyone throws in earth there.
Throw in yours and don’t think about it.


Who will believe that we as never before
slandered brotherhood and happiness,
and that you, soul, with longing for suffering
and passion were and will be proud?
You, who were taught
by the traditions of love and shame,
you have it as temptation and desire
and a prompt, always live.


So fire was suggested for the dissenters
in the back of beyond, and blood was too,
in order to know as they turned into breathing:
the Woman carries the Sun of Truth.
Anyone of those burning in the chorus
will swear as before the soul:
see, I have come out of the time of grieving,
and now it’s good, it’s good.


Who has forgotten that fate is an oath
with unbribable earth in the mouth,
the key with which the prayer locks itself,
and is silent and looks into the heights.
The oath, that locks the doors fast.
The public oath, here and now,
the oath in eternal and eternal incredulity
in that the vultures peck at the heart.


I will never and in no way be able
to outwill Your will:
I will develop like the earth in the grave,
like the child in the womb, I will kill –
but how can I change the heart within me
by sadness, fate and love?
You write with me, like with blood on blood
like with fire on another fire.


Swear on the fire of shared suffering,
on the shame, tasted here,
and on the clear water of illumination –
then let them carry me round to her:
on the earth, sated with lies and drunk,
in the hour of her triumph over me.
In the hushed circus of Diocletian –
I will not die, but I will stay alive.
Richard McKane
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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