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)
Journey of the magi

He who has ridden so long and so far,
waking and going to sleep again, and being dreamed
as a small life, melting on the tongue
and penetrating us, like a last sweet,
like an open tie
from the line on the hand
to the star in the broadest river of the heavens,


he knows how the aim diminishes on the journey
and a gathering together of priceless omens grows
as the scattered light runs with the sand,
over the narrow way in the clock of darkness
and the visions of a thousand years
run from the chest
like air and wait before:


or a certain book in the coloured dark,
and there is darkness indeed, but it’s comfortable for the eyes
as if the vision, fallen together with the beam,
finally grew up, strengthening in the dark
and shining,
runs over the old letters,
as over the festive candles on a thick tree;


or the winter steppe appeared to be
a curtained bedroom of dark mirrors,
where scarlet fever hovers over a child’s anguish
so that the eyes could search out the lamp in the west
like a crystal,
fractured in tears and coloured.
They sit at their night work by the light of the lamp;


or as though raising its face from over the page
the matter opened out to them all the wilfulness:
the clear, visionary stones with an immortal pupil
lit the underground trunk of the tree –
so that everyone could read
of their wish –
but there was no secret, no joy in it.


There was only silence and the endless journey.
The rummaged through chest of minerals and stars
had long ago bored them to death. Like a face without a face
the end staring them in the face tormented them:
as though not having found the ring
in a mass of rings
they were going away now, surrounded with their end.


“O how the heart yearns, what a disaster!
You who laid the fire, like a thing among things,
why did you call me and are looking here?
I am not the best of many in Your abyss!
Have mercy
on this poor life. Have mercy
that it never loved itself,
and that the star
carries us, carries like water...”


So they were there, where they always wanted to be.
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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