Anna Akhmatova: "I have no use for regimental odes" (From Russian)

"I have no use for regimental odes..." (From "Secrets of the Craft")
By Anna Akhmatova
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click here to hear me recite the poem in Russian

I have no use for regimental odes,
Or the impassioned elegiac hoax.
I make my verses quite beside the point
Made by the just, plain folks.
I wish you knew the kind of garbage heap
Wild verses grow on, paying shame no heed,
Like dandelions yellowing a fence,
Like burdock and bindweed...
An angered yell, the bracing scent of tar,
And walls with runic mildew like a sign...
And soon a tender, testy poem answers
To your delight and mine.

The Original:

Мне ни к чему одические рати
И прелесть элегических страстей.
По мне, в стихах все быть должно некстати,
Не так, как у людей.
Когда б вы знали, из какого сора
Растут стихи, не ведая стыда,
Как желтый одуванчик у забора,
Как лопухи и лебеда.
Сердитый окрик, дегтя запах свежий,
Таинственная плесень на стене...
И стих уже звучит, задорен, нежен,
На радость вам и мне.

1 comment:

  1. Your translations are most excellent.

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget