«После холодности безбрежной...» 1992
Translated by Larisa Schultz © 2007
After coldness that knew no limits,
killing hope as the years went by,
after this deliberate torture,
ceaseless like a disease, a song,
some strange whim makes you open to me
the sweet hell of your arms and eyes
when I have already forgotten
who I am, or where I belong.
And I'm voiceless and out of breath,
my heart flares up and fades all silent,
hearing gone, neither arms nor eyes left,
my throat near death.
That's perhaps how some feathered creature,
since its youth kept within four walls,
has forgotten what wings are used for
after such a long time inside.
And when he is a bird no longer,
someone meaning no harm at all
opens worlds to him as if saying -
well, all right then, go take your flight.
But he's like a gem of topaz,
or of amber, a hand-made trifle.
What on earth should he start to fly for?
Now imagine that this poor jailbird
finds a window that has no locks,
and, amazed, in a state of frenzy,
he steps over into the view,
for, when seeing the sky unlighted,
he'll believe that instead he looks
at the diamonds that are in heaven -
something given to but a few.
Be he cheated, mistaken, wrong,
a true genius or just a boaster -
the rocks down there will not get softer,
he's surely gone.
Take great care not to offer freedom
to a singer, half-blind, half-mad.
He is dangerous since he'll never
tell the height from a deep abyss.
If you do free him, in an instant
wipe whatever regret you had
from your face, then get rid of pity,
stifle care and enjoy your peace.
Feeling neither remorse nor fright,
calmly watch as he falls down smiling,
as if saying - all right then, darling,
I'll take my flight.