Nicolas Nabokov – Six Poems by A. Akhmatova (T. Gavrilova / Yu. Blinov)


1. River Don flows calmly, yellow crescent pops in the home, pops in with a crooked hat, yellow crescent sees the shade: this woman is ill, this woman is lonely. Her husband is buried, her son is in jail – pray for me, oh, pray. 2. They came to capture you at dawn, I followed you like at the funeral. Children were crying in a dark room, the candle at holy image was melting. On your lips is a cold of an icon, Deadly sweat on your face stays with me. Like the wives of the old-time rebels I shall wail under the towers of Cremlin. No, this is not me! – this is someone else suffering, I couldn’t so… and let all that has happened be covered with the black cloths and gone with the lights. Night! 3. Crucifixion. A choir of angels glorified the greatest hour, the heavens melted into flames. To His Father He said, ‘Why hast Thou forsaken me!’ but to His Mother: ‘Weep not for me. . .’ Magdalena smote herself and wept, the favorite disciple turned to stone, but there, where the Mother stood silent, not one person dared to look. 4. The Sentence. And the word of rock has fallen onto my still-beating breast – nevermind, I was prepared, I shall cope somehow with the rest. I have many things to do today: I should kill my memory completely, I should turn my soul into a stone, I should teach myself to live again. Otherwise… … the hot rustle of summer is like a feast outside my window. I have long had the premonition of this bright day and deserted house. 5. The madness has already covered half of my soul with its wing. It wines me with flames and lures into a dark valley. And I have understood that I should surrender while listening to my own like to an alien delirium. It will not let me take anything with me, notwithstanding all my pleas and appeals: not the frightening eyes of my son – a suffering set in stone, nor the day, when the storm came, or the time of the prison visit, nor the sweet coolness of hands, the anxious shades of lime trees nor the airy distant sound – the final words of consolation. 6. To the Death You will come anyway – why not today? I am waiting – with a heavy burden. I have turned off the light and opened the door for you – so simple and so marvelous. Take whatever image for your plot: blow in like a bomb of noxious gaz, or creep up with a kettlebell like a skillful bandit, or poison me with a typhoid exhalation, or come with a tale invented by you and well-known to the point of nausea, let me see the top of officer’s blue cap and the house manager, pale of fright. I do not care anymore. The river Yenisey swirls on, the Pole star blazes, and the blue gaze of much-loved eyes covers from me the last horror.

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  1. For English word-to-word translation of the lyrics please use the CC (closed caption) button

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