Sergey Yesenin

Anthropolog

Chisinau, Moldova, Republic Of

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original sold

charcoal pencil on watercolor paper 50×70cm

Sergey Yesenin

  • *
    A Letter to The Woman

Yes, you remember,
You certainly remember
The way I listened
Standing at the wall
As you walked to and fro about the chamber
Reproving me
With bitter words and all.

You said
That it was time we"d parted,
And that my reckless life,
For you, was an ordeal,
And it was time a new life you had started
While I was fated
To go rolling downhill.

My love!
You didn"t care for me, no doubt.
You weren"t aware of the fact that I
Was like a ruined horse, amidst the crowd,
Spurred by a dashing rider, flashing by.

You didn"t know
That I was all a-smoke,
And in my life, turned wholly upside-down ,
I was in misery, downhearted, broke,
Because I didn"t see which way we were bound.

When face to face
We cannot see the face.
We should step back for better observation.
For when the ocean boils and wails
The ship is in a sorry situation.

The world is but a ship!
But all at once,
Someone, in search of better life and glory,
Has turned it, gracefully, taking his chance,
Into the hub of storm and flurry.

Well, which of us
On board a mighty boat
Has never brawled nor barfed nor fallen down?
There are not many of them that will not
Despair when they"re about to drown.

Me, too,
To loud hue and cry,
But knowing well what I was doing
Went down to the hold where I
Might keep away from scenes of spewing.

“Hold” was a Russian pub

Where I
Drank, listening to the loud bicker,
I tried to stop my worries by
Just drowning myself in liquor.

My love!
I worried you, oh my!
Your tired eyes revealed dejection,
I didn"t hide from you that I
Had spent my life in altercation.

You didn"t know
That I was all a-smoke,
And in my life, turned wholly upside-down,
I was in misery, downhearted, broke,
Because I didn"t see
Which way we were bound.



I do not regret, and I do not shed tears,
All, like haze off apple-trees, must pass.
Turning gold, I"m fading, it appears,
I will not be young again, alas.

Having got to know the touch of coolness
I will not feel, as before, so good.
And the land of birch trees, – oh my goodness!-
Cannot make me wander barefoot.

Vagrant"s spirit! You do not so often
Stir the fire of my lips these days.
Oh my freshness, that begins to soften!
Oh my lost emotions, vehement gaze!

Presently I do not feel a yearning,
Oh, my life! Have I been sleeping fast?
Well, it feels like early in the morning
On a rosy horse I"ve galloped past.

We are all to perish, hoping for some favour,
Copper leaves flow slowly down and sway…
May you be redeemed and blessed for ever,
You who came to bloom and pass away…

1921
************_________________________
The golden birch-tree grove has fallen silent
Its merry chatter having stopped afore,
The cranes up there flying over, sullen,
Have nobody to pity any more.

Whom should they pity? Each is just a trotter.
One comes and goes and leaves for good again.
The moon and hempen bush above the water
Remember all those perished, filled with pain.

I"m standing on the plain all on my own,
The cranes, the wind is taking them away,
I think about my boyhood which has flown,
And I do not regret my bygones anyway.

I don"t regret the days that I discarded,
I don"t feel sorry for the lilac of my soul.
The purple rowan burning in the garden
Can"t warm and comfort anyone at all.

The rowan will maintain its coloration.
The grass exposed to heat will not decease,
I drop my words of sorrow and vexation
The way a tree drops quietly its leaves.

And if some day the wind of time intended
To rake them all up in a useless roll…
You ought to say: the golden grove has ended
Its lovely chatter in the prime of fall.

1924
**********************___________________________
The Bitch
Translated by Daniel Weissbort

In the morning the bitch whelped
Seven reddish-brown puppies,
In the rye barn where a row
Of bast mats gleamed like gold.
Licking their pelts smooth,
And underneath her, the snow
Melted out in the heat.

But at dusk, when the hens
Were roosting on the perch,
There came the grim-faced master
Who stuffed the pups in a sack.

The bitch bounded alongside him,
Over the snow-deep fields,
And the icy surface of the water
Shuddered a long, long while.

And when at last she struggled home,
Licking the sweat from her sides,
To her the moon above the house
Seemed like one of the pups.

Whimpering loudly she gazed up
Limpidly into the dark,
While over the hill, the slender moon
Slid into the fields beyond.

And softly, as when someone,
Jesting, throws her a stone,
Her tears, like golden stars,
Trickled down into the snow.

1915

Artwork Comments

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