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Bella Akhmadulina

Bella Akhmadulina

BELLA AKHMADULINA: "Over My Street For..."

"Over My Street For..."

Over my street for many-many years,
sound the steps – my friends leave me forever.
The slow exodus of all my dear friends
takes from the dark by windows its favor. 
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
Oh, constant loneness, how hard are manners yours!
While glimmering with compasses your ruthless,
how mercilessly you lock the fatal circles,
not listening to explanations useless.

Then call for me, take me to you and bless!
Your favorite in whole freezing fondness, 
I’ll gain my peace, and lean at your cold breast
and wash myself in whole your blue coldness.

Let me stay tiptoe in your woods of grace –  
in that far end of movement, slow measured --
find your fresh leaf and take it to my face,
and feel the orphanage as the unearthly pleasure.

Give me deep silence of your libraries,
tunes of your concerts, rigorous and proud,
and, sapient, I will forget the list 
of them – the dead and the alive till now. 

And I’ll cognize and wisdom and regret,
objects will give me their meanings, hidden,    
and Nature, leaning my week shoulders at,
will tell me all her secrets of sweet children. 

And only then, from dark and grievous lands --
the lands of ignorance that yore ruled here --
the gorgeous features of my dear friends 
will come in sight once more and disappear.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, April, 2001

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