In this huge town of mine—night.
the sleepy home I leave—behind.
And people think: wife, daughter—
But I’m aware of just this—night.
The July wind sweeps my way
And somewhere in a window faintly—music.
Ah, now ‘till dawn let a wind gust—blow
Through my chest’s thin walls—into my chest.
There is a black poplar, and in the window—light,
And bells ringing in the tower, and in the hand—a flower.
And this one step following—no one,
And this one shadow—but me—no.
Lights-like strings of golden beads,
Night leaflets in the mouth—taste.
Deliver me from daily bonds,
Friends, realize, of me—you’ll dream.
Moscow, July 17, 1916
Longing for the motherland!
A mystery I demystified long ago!
Is it totally the same to me—
Where I am—totally alone.
Along which stones I drag myself,
With my shopping bag, home.
A house unaware of who I am,
Like some hospital or barrack.
It’s all the same whom I defy
As I bristle like a caged lion,
From which coterie of men
I’m expelled—without fail—
Back to myself, my own identity.
A polar bear with no floe.
Where not to strive at companionship (I don’t try),
Where to lose self-respect—makes no difference.
Neither am I lured by my native
Tongue, it’s nursing call.
I do not care if I’m greeted
Or greet with unintelligible words!
(That reader gorging himself with tons
Of paper, news-scandalmonger)
He is a man of this age,
As for me—I stand pre-every age.
Stunned, like a tree stump
Bereft of the alley its stood on.
People—I don’t care about, things—I don’t care,
And maybe even less care
About what ever came with my birth:
Peculiarities, traits, features,
Data—all wiped out as if by a hand:
My soul being born—somewhere.
My land won’t preserve me.
So that even the keenest detective
Searching far and wide through my soul
Will not find a birthmark!
Each home is alien to me, each shrine empty,
All things—all the same, all things—make no difference.
But if along the road a bush
Stands, especially a rowan…