Larissa's Blog

My Poem after Federico Garcia Lorca Accepted

Delighted that my poem, "To the Thanatos Within Me," has been accepted for the second edition of Open Country Press's anthology, Verde Que Te Quiero Verde: Poems after Federico Garcia Lorca.

Text of Translations with Original Russian of Pushkin, Mayakovsky, Gumiliev, and Tarkovsky in South Florida Poetry Journal

Larissa Shmailo  4 Russian translations
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

I loved you once, and this love still, it may be,
Is not extinguished fully in my soul;
But let’s no longer have this love dismay you:
To trouble you is not my wish at all.
I loved you once quite wordlessly, without hope,
Tortured shyness, jealous rage I bore.
I loved you once so gently and sincerely:
God grant another love you thus once more
 

Я вас любил: любовь еще, быть может,
В душе моей угасла не совсем;
Но пусть она вас больше не тревожит;
Я не хочу печалить вас ничем.
Я вас любил безмолвно, безнадежно,
То робостью, то ревностью томим;
Я вас любил так искренно, так нежно,
Как дай вам бог любимой быть другим.
 June 25, 1939
Arseny Tarkovsky


It's frightening to die, and such a shame to leave
This captivating riffraff that enchants me,
The stuff so dear to poets, so very lovely,
I never celebrated; it somehow wasn't to be.
I loved to come back home at the break of dawn
And shift my things around in half an hour.
I loved the white windowsill, and also the flower,
The carved faceted glass, and also the water,
And the heavens, greenish-azure in their color--
And that I was a poet and a wicked man.
And when every June came with my birthday again
I'd idolize that holiday, bustling
With verses by friends and congratulations from women,
With crystal laughter, and gay glasses clinking
And the lock of that hair, unique, individual
And that kiss, so entirely inevitable.
But now at home it’s all set up differently;
It's June and I no longer have that homesickness.
In this way, life is teaching me patience,
And turbid, my blood now is stirring this birthday,
And a secret anxiety is tormenting me--
What have I done with my great destiny,
Oh my God, what have I done with me!



25 июня 1939 года
Арсений Тарковский


И страшно умереть, и жаль оставить
Всю шушеру пленительную эту,
Всю чепуху, столь милую поэту,
Которую не удалось прославить
Я так любил домой прийти к рассвету,
И в полчаса все вещи переставить,
Еще любил я белый подоконник,
Цветок и воду, и стакан граненый,
И небосвод голубизны зеленой,
И то, что я — поэт и беззаконник.
А если был июнь и день рожденья
Боготворил я праздник суетливый,
Стихи друзей и женщин поздравленья,
Хрустальный смех и звон стекла счастливый,
И завиток волос неповторимый,
И этот поцелуй неотвратимый
Расставлено все в доме по-другому,
Июнь пришел, я не томлюсь по дому,
В котором жизнь меня терпенью учит
И кровь моя мутится в день рожденья,
И тайная меня тревога мучит,--
Что сделал я с высокою судьбою,
О боже мой, что сделал я с собою!

Vladimir Mayakovsky’s Last Poem

Vladimir Mayakovsky's (July 19,1893 – April 14, 1930) final poem before his suicide. The Oka mentioned is a tributary of the Volga.

It's after one. You've likely gone to sleep.
The Milkway streams silver, an Oka through the night.
I don't hurry, I don't need to wake you
Or bother you with lightning telegrams.
Like they say, the incident is cloved.
Love's little boat has crashed on daily life.
We're even, you and I. No need to account
For mutual sorrows, mutual pains and wrongs.
Look: How quiet the world is.
Night cloaks the sky with the tribute of the stars.
At times like these, you can rise, stand, and speak
To history, eternity, and all creation.


Уже второй. Должно быть, ты легла.
В ночи Млечпуть серебряной Окою.
Я не спешу, и молниями телеграмм
мне незачем тебя будить и беспокоить.
Как говорят, инцидент исперчен.
Любовная лодка разбилась о быт.
С тобой мы в расчете. И не к чему перечень
взаимных болей, бед и обид.
Ты посмотри, какая в мире тишь.
Ночь обложила небо звездной данью.
В такие вот часы встаешь и говоришь
векам, истории и мирозданью

Acrostic poem on the name of Nikolai Gumilev’s wife, Anna Akhmatova. Translation received honorable mention in the Compass Award competition on Gumilyev, 2011.

Acrostic

Addis Ababa, city of roses.
Near the bank of transparent streams,
No earthly devas brought you here,
A diamond, amidst gloomy gorges.

Armidin garden … There a pilgrim
Keeps his oath of obscure love
(Mind, we all bow before him),
And the roses cloy, the roses red.

There, full of deceit and venom,
Ogles some gaze into the soul,
Via forests of tall sycamores,
And alleyways of dusky planes.

Акростих
 
Аддис-Абеба, город роз.        
На берегу ручьёв прозрачных,
Небесный див тебя принес,
Алмазной, средь ущелий мрачных.

Армидин сад… Там пилигрим
Хранит обет любви неясной
ы все склоняемся пред ним),
А розы душны, розы красны.

Там смотрит в душу чей-то взор,
Отравы полный и обманов,
В садах высоких сикомор,
Аллеях сумрачных платанов.


LARISSA SHMAILO’S work appears in Measure for Measure (Everyman's Library / Penguin Random House), Words for the Wedding (Perigee / Penguin Putnam), and Contemporary Russian Poetry (Dalkey Archive Press). Her poetry collections are #Medusa’s Country (forthcoming from MadHat Press), #specialcharacters (Unlikely Books), In Paran (BlazeVOX [books]), and the chapbooks A Cure for Suicide (Červená Barva Press) and Fib Sequence (Argotist Ebooks). Her poetry CDs are The No-Net World and Exorcism (SongCrew); tracks are available from Spotify, iTunes, Muze, and Amazon. Larissa edited the anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry (Big Bridge Press) and translated Victory over the Sun for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's celebrated reconstruction of the first Futurist opera; the libretto has been used for productions at Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Smithsonian, and the Garage Museum of Moscow. Shmailo has also been a translator on the Russian Bible for the American Bible Society. Her novel, Patient Women, is now available from Amazon, BN.com, and BlazeVOX [books]. Visit her website at www.larissashmailo.com 

Thanks to Sovay for Victory over the Sun shout out

http://sovay.livejournal.com/809149.htmlhttp://sovay.livejournal.com/809149.html

Thanks to Sovay for the shout out on Live Journal for my translation of Victory over the Sun and for the Červená Barva Press bookstore.


Date: 2016-10-19 17:12 Subject: Well what's to be done I'll go away askance into the 16th century through the quotes over here

Delightful surprise of the week: visiting the brick-and-mortar office of Červená Barva Press in the basement of the Somerville Armory and discovering that not only do they sell their own books, like the chapbook of Aleksei Kruchonykh's libretto for the Futurist opera Victory Over the Sun (1913, trans. Larissa Shmailo 1980/2014) I had originally contacted the publisher about, they are a really lovely tiny used book store. My mother left with Gene Stratton-Porter's The Harvester (1911), Inez Haynes Irwin's Maida's Little School (1926), and Frances Hodgson Burnett's Robin (1922), all first editions—jacketless, but in otherwise quite respectable condition; the first two are books from her childhood and the third neither of us had ever heard of, so fingers crossed it's not terrible. I walked out with Barbara Helfgott Hyett's In Evidence: Poems of the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps (1986) and the Signet paperback of Mickey Spillane's Kiss Me, Deadly (1952), which I did not buy solely for its cover, but you must admit it helps. I am enjoying Victory Over the Sun.

My Gumiliev translation to be published on Gumiliev.ru!

Very pleased that my translation of one of Nikolai Gumiliev's acrostic poems on the name of Anna Akhmatova will be published on Gumiliev.ru!Larissa ShmailoNikolai Gumiliev (April 15,1886 – August 25, 1921) on the name of the poet’s wife, Anna Akhmatova. I have used successive kh to transliterate the Russian x in Akhmatova’s name.

Acrostic
Addis Ababa, city of roses.
Near the bank of transparent streams,
No earthly devas brought you here,
A diamond, amidst gloomy gorges.
Armidin garden … There a pilgrim
Keeps his oath of obscure love
(Mind, we all bow before him),
And the roses cloy, the roses red.
There, full of deceit and venom,
Ogles some gaze into the soul,
Via forests of tall sycamores,
And alleyways of dusky planes.

Tr. L. Shmailo

Акростих
Аддис-Абеба, город роз.
На берегу ручьёв прозрачных,
Небесный див тебя принес,
Алмазной, средь ущелий мрачных.
Армидин сад… Там пилигрим
Хранит обет любви неясной
(Мы все склоняемся пред ним),
А розы душны, розы красны.
Там смотрит в душу чей-то взор,
Отравы полный и обманов,
В садах высоких сикомор,
Аллеях сумрачных платанов.

"My Dead" on FULCRUM Page

Very pleased that my poem, "My Dead," appears on the popular FULCRUM  Facebook page this weekend.

MY DEAD

My husband lost his shirt at cards; insolvent, he then drowned
in slick Cancun on our honeymoon; years now, it still astounds
how fast, how fast, a living hell can turn a life around.

My godchild told me pointedly if she were to attempt
to die that she'd succeed at once; her word she quickly kept,
and took a hundred opiates and drifted to her death.

My punk-rock pimp, a crush of mine, loved theater and art.
He sodomized and strangled a young man close to his heart,
then packed a bag of bondage toys and left for foreign parts.

Before her death, my mother called and calmly sat me down;
if she could do it all again, she'd have no children, none.
She lived her life in anger and, despite us, all alone.

My father drank and slept around; he was a well-liked guy.
He said I love you once to me the night before he died.
Was there a feeling come too late or panic in his eyes?

Fulcrum

Ladybug

Ladybug, the autumnal, menopausal forest is aflame,
Burning with your yearning and desire: go home.
No season of mists or mellow fruitfulness for you, only
The hot flash of Eros dying, growing old.

Fall now, the deep loam envelopes your breasts,
Dugs that hang low. The crimson leaves as
Veined as your hands, varices red and blue,
Glitter with last dew, the brilliance before death.

Can you, withered Phoenix, rise?
Female over fifty, do you have your music too?

LATE SUMMER POEM



You must have seen it, at a crepuscule shore;    It strikes as lightning does, trembling the sky,      with summer rose and lilacs calling "more,"   and the flash of white egrets as they fly.     
You must have heard it, crickets in the dusk,   the flap of water on smooth stone and bark,   the sound of a lone loon in the summer musk,   the breath of your lover as she speaks in the dark.       
Self-centered, we cannot see God in ourselves,    and in others we too often miss the divine;   in nature, not ours, we sense eternal lives    for a moment alive in our chattering minds.   

The fascists are winning

The fascists are winning because I am losing my sense of humor. They are here to stay, past the election in November, which Trump will claim was rigged. Trump will say he won by a landslide and call for revolution, as he did when Romney lost. All the armed militia, Klan, Nazi, and the 72% of Republicans who doubt Obama was born in the United States will answer his call. But until then, I can imagine Trump and Sarah Palin having a discussion about geopolitics, and smile, a little

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