Andrei Voznesensky


Lettish Saga

Translated by Daniel Weissbort

The lads make off from their betrothed.

Why from their fathers’ homes, God knows,
Three fools sprint for the West.
Someone betrays them. They’re seized.
Year ’41. Regards!
The sentence is declared – 10 years.
‘O lover, when will you return?!
four thousand days like a burden,

four thousand nights

I have been no one’s,

the neighbours’ kids are ten years old,

four thousand suns have rolled,

the war is over, you’re still not out,

how are your sufferings there my sweet,

are you alive, are you unhurt?

for one who loves there is no limit –

with love half crazy
I, Ruth, betrayed you –
from prison you’ll be restored
but never from abroad…’

Since morning drunk he beats her.
His crutch is whistling over the pier,
O the wails of that grey woman:
‘My darling one, my darling one!’

Notes on this poem

© Zoya Boguslavskaya.