Irina Goncharova: Russia on fire

This morning, some hours after our post on the wildfires in Russia, Irina Goncharova published on the site Стихи.ру – Russian poems – her recent poem of the same title: Россия в огне – Russia on fire. We have immediately asked permission of the poetess to publish it on Río Wang, accompanied by a rough translation in English, and she was so kind not only to agree but also revised and authorized our translation. This, however, should not mislead our benevolent readers: the Russian original is much more beautiful and more apocalyptic than the hastily made translation in an idiom which is not the mother tongue either of the poet or of the translator.

Россия моя, Россия,
Зачем так ярко горишь?
Марина Цветаева.
ЛУЧИНА, 1931 г. Париж

Вот машинист. Вот топка. Вот лопата.
Углишка показалось маловато;
И вот пылает целая страна.
И мчится под откос. И как всегда,
В купе вздремнулось сонным пассажирам.
А кочегар как будто бы двужильный,
Свихнувшийся, швыряет пламя в топку:
И вся Россия, пригодившись на растопку,
Летит экспрессом в ад. Никак с ума
Свихнулся машинист. Плацкарт болтает,
А проводница с кем-то там киряет,
В окошках что-то черное мелькает,
И дым из труб несет по деревням.
Куда, залетные, колесами стучите?
Состав летит в огонь. В нем гибнут птицы,
И звери гибнут, дети гибнут! И пшеница!
И ветер пепел носит по полям.
Но вот из тьмы выходят чудищ сонмы
И плотно обступают поезд сонный.
И в пламя жаркое въезжает обреченный
Тот поезд: машинист ушел, не тормозя.

Russia, my Russia,
why are you burning so bright?
Marina Tsvetaeva.
ЛУЧИНА, 1931, Paris

Here’s the engine-driver. The boiler. The shovel.
Only the coal seems hardly enough.
And now the whole country is set on fire
and speeding down the slope. The passengers
are nodding in the compartments, as always
while the fireman, like a frantic golem,
ceaselessly stokes up the fire in the boiler.
All Russia, ripe for the fire, is rattling
to hell on this express. The engine-driver
must have gone mad. The first class is chatting,
the inspector is boozing with someone,
something black is flashing in the windows,
the train covers the villages with smoke.
Where do you clatter, transit passengers?
You’re heading to fire! Birds are killed,
animals, children perish there. And the wheat!
The wind carries ashes over the fields.
Hordes of monsters crawl out of the darkness
and tightly surround the sleepy train.
The damned locomotive runs right into the fire:
the driver has long left without pulling the brake.

4 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

that's an old photo, I think from a fire in USA

Studiolum dijo...

Thanks for the info. The poetess included it together with the original poem on Стихи.ру, so I have also included it here – she might have a reason to choose exactly this one, perhaps to keep a certain distance (as also the poem does not just speak about the present wildfire in Russia but about the Russian political situation as well). Recent photos of the Russian wildfire can be seen in the previous post.

Irina dijo...

Right, I really wanted to to keep a distance, but also to show animals, their destiny when they are caught by wildfires irrespective of where it happens.

Thanks the reader for the comment!

Anónimo dijo...

Спасибо, смиялсо