Friday, September 20, 2019

Kibirov's Poplar

Image courtesy of Poetry Northwest

I've clearly been doing a terrible job of keeping up this blog, but here's a belated link to my translation of a poem by Timur Kibirov, which I was very happy to place with the venerable journal Poetry Northwest. If the gods are kind to me, there will be plenty more of his poems showing up in English in the coming years. They're piling up in my notebooks, desk drawers, and on hard drives...

The poem also appeared in Russia in the 2016 anthology 100 Poems about Moscow / 100 стихотворений о Москве, edited by Maxim Amelin with much help wrangling translators from Anne O. Fisher—or Annie, as we in the translation crowd know her.

Here are the opening two stanzas, with the Russian below the fold:

from the cycle “Romances of the Cheryomushki District”
On valor, on heroism, on the glory
of the Communist Party on the bitter earth,
on Ligachev and Okudzhava,
on the poplar that rustles in the mist.
On the poplar by my window, on you and
your warm body, on the poplar right here,
on how we’ve barely left the cradle,
the grave awaits, and nothing is clear.

(You can read the full poem and my translator's note here.)