26 September 2011

A Cat’s Lament / Жалобы кота

A Cat’s Lament

Woe is me, O wretched, hapless me.
Neither in feline nor in mouse will I find succor.
Ah, how dark it is in October, alas, it’s darker
in October than in a Black man’s armpit.

The devil lent me claws on credit.
I tear another day from the calendar.
Wrap me up, O Life, in a neat bundle,
and bear me away on your lap in a tram.

Or, faster yet, in a taxi.
And after surveying the assortment of people,
ask of the old gruff nurse,
“Who’s last in line for being put to sleep?”

(Translation © Henry Pickford)

Жалобы кота
Горе мне, муки мне, ахти мне.
Не утешусь ни кошкой, ни мышкой.
Ах, темно в октябре, ах, темней
в октябре, чем у негра под мышкой.

Черт мне когти оставил в залог.
Календарный листок отрываю.
Уважи меня, жизнь, в узелок,
увези на коленях в трамвае.

Или, чтобы скорее, в такси.
И, взглянув на народа скопленье,
у сердитой старухи спроси:
“Кто последний на усыпленье?”

13 September 2011

"On his birthday, the poet Lev Loseff is watching the poet Joseph Brodsky singing 'Lili Marleen' on TV and drinking a glass of vodka, for his health, as wife Nina dutifully makes sure that Lyosha eats his pickle. Uflyand drew this before departing for the airport in June of 1989."

Drawings of Loseff by M. Belomlinsky / Рисунки Михаила Беломлинского

MB Illustration

12 September 2011

Pooch / Пёс


Because a pooch is no big deal—
a wagging tongue, a wagging tail—
I think of me
as like this modest length of fur,
this slightly smelly patch of hair.
I urge with glee

my slippery organ with no bone,
that chews the news away and home—
to do its best!
My little stump of fear and grief,
docked from a tougher piece of meat— 
wag nonetheless!

(translation © G.S. Smith)

Поскольку пёс устройством прост: 
болтаются язык да хвост,
сравню себя
я с этой шерстью небольшой,
с пованивающей паршой.
Скуля, сипя,

мой мокрый орган без костей
для перемолки новостей,
валяй, мели!
Обрубок страха и тоски,
служи за чёрствые куски,
виляй, моли!


02 September 2011

Frost/Loseff 4 September 1962 • Фрост/Лосев 4 сентября 1962 года

Robert Frost reading at Pushkin House, Leningrad, 9/4/1962.
Lev Loseff - bottom right corner, profile.
Joseph Brodsky - partially obscured by Frost's right shoulder. 

"Robert Frost to Losev Leningrad Sept 4 62."

That morning Robert Frost met Anna Akhmatova:
Mink Brook (After Robert Frost) / Норковый ручей (Подражание Фросту):