The geese bid farewell to the tundra
with heavy-hearted cries.
For them it will be very difficult,
no, it is not for them to bask under an African sky,
it is for them to dream of the North
with its snow and May showers,
with the caress of endless swamps,
with the noise of mountain rivulets.
The North, extreme though it may be,
teaches the soul to be proud.
Here are the lifelong moorings
of everyone who is familiar with the waves.
It is here that the birds’ lives begin,
where the Saami reside!
October morning, fresh and light,
the sun crumbled into sparkles,
the birch nuzzles up to the dawn with its cheek,
having sensed autumn close by.
She thought of something, she looks with longing
at the spruces, at the proud pines,
but Autumn, with a rude and ruthless hand,
plucks out the yellow leaves.
I pity you, it’s too bad it came to this,
following autumn — hazy winter.
And anyway you threw off your scanty clothes:
you could not stand to wear them in the frost!
The snows come through and cover everything,
like a fur coat on a young girl’s shoulders,
and the frost will be a loyal friend to you,
a gallant prince!
In the polar night you can hear the voice
of worlds yet unknown!
In the December forest there gloriously breathes
the frost, the ozone — and I am living well!
Translations from the Russian
By Naomi Caffee
In this issue of WLT, a special section devoted to Post-Soviet Literature features recent work from Russia and other former republics, twenty years after the collapse of the regime.
Table of Contents
Post-Soviet Literature: Twenty Years
After the Fall
- INTRO: "Twenty Years after the Collapse of the Soviet Union: Russian and East European Literature Today," Emily D. Johnson
- ESSAY: "Censorship in Russia: Old and New Faces," Nadezhda Azhgikhina
- ESSAY: "Poetry in the Cloud: An Experiment, Results, and n+1 Hypotheses," Kevin M. F. Platt
- FICTION: "Petrov and Markov," Oleg Woolf
- ESSAY: "Re-Visioning the Past: Russian Literary Classics in Film," Catharine Nepomnyashchy
- POETRY: "The Rock or, A Third Anecdote about Wallace Stevens," Grigory Kruzhkov
- EXCERPT: The Button, Iren Rozdobudko
- READING LIST: WLT's post-Soviet reading list
- New! VIDEO: Multimedia poetry from Orbita 4
- "Zoran Živković: A Biographical Sketch," Michael Morrison
- "Rendezvous in Front of the House," Zoran Živković
- "The Metaphysical Fantasias of Zoran Živković," Michael Morrison
- FICTION: "The Teashop," Zoran Živković
- INTERVIEW: "Fantastika and the Literature of Serbia: A Conversation with Zoran Živković," Michael A. Morrison
- A Bibliography of the Works of Zoran Živković
- "My Life as Cinema: A Conversation with Samuel Shimon," Kaitlin Hawkins
- "Literary Cairo, A Conversation with Samia Mehrez," Michelle Johnson
- "The Demon of Hunger," Tania Malyarchuk
- "Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction," Mario Bellatin
- Three Poems by Askold Bazhanov
- Two Poems, Alistair Noon
IN EVERY ISSUE
- LETTERS/EDITOR'S CHOICE
- BOOK CLUB: An Iraqi in Paris by Samuel Shimon
- AUTHOR PROFILE: Zoe Whittall
- WHAT TO READ NOW: Zimbabwe
- CITY PROFILE: Yerevan, Armenia
- INTERNATIONAL CRIME & MYSTERY: Meet "Bo from Ro": Building Romanian Crime Writing, J. Madison Davis
- OUTPOST: Los Angeles