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 Gates. Windows. Arches
To Ivan Zhdanov
I just wanted to say:
“Come visit me!”
but winter is at an end.
With hieroglyphs of bushes and trees,
they write and write
now pressing on their pens, now not.
Ah, on wet paper
with an invisible brush,
on the soft, rice-like air,
it is sheer pleasure to write –
you can’t restrain your hand.

Like Khlebnikov, the airy book writes:
some root-verbiage1,
wells of chance occurrences,
golden gypsy necklaces of what has come to being.
But you’ll see it when you come.

The sun emerges –
from the storeroom of winter,
from the closet of night,
I wonder how it fit inside it.
The sun has nothing to do, so it warms us up now.
It has to illuminate
something important,
something endearing . . .
Come, don’t delay.

No matter how much a person
would be illumined, written up, and flown about,
no matter how much brooks would paint
the mountains and hollows
of our plains,
no matter how much birds would say
that the sky surrounds the earth
with the thousand-handed azure,
with the azure, that soft-speaking beggar,
it is still sad to think that no one comes.

Don’t you know when it’s too late?
The way snow melts,
you’ll look for us,
but we’re no longer there.
Slava I. Yastremski and Michel Naydan

1 Velimir Khlebnikov was an experimental poet at the beginning of the twentieth century, one of the leaders of Russian Futurism. He was an inventor of the so-called "transsense" language based on experiments with morphological components of words.
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