Poetry Archives Bio
December 22, 2011
8:38 AM
The Birth of Poetry

This is my translation of «Рождение стихов» by Александр Розенбаум [Aleksander Rosenbaum]. While (because of my belief in the primacy of rhythm and sound) I have deviated somewhat from the original text, the essence of the original song remains.

In addition, I also subtitled a recording of Rosenbaum's performance using my translation.

I often came to term,
Under my heart a burden.
I am afraid that now
Will come my fatal blow.
My doctors—every one—are showoffs all and slovens,
And what they truly want themselves they'll never know.

And if verse is to die,
Without the world offending,
So why does still live on
He who sinned in the night,
He who caressed a quill, espying endless women,
And he who burned his fingers, lighting up, on candles' fickle light?

The poems knock on doors
Imperious and trusting.
Intent on breaking bone,
And ravenous for meat,
But they are not to be, despite all labours' thrusting,
And chills my chest now terribly the filial heat.

Contractions I'll endure,
I wait for them to end soon.
From all the night's distress,
The painful kicks—a curse—
I do not want to bear the cemetery cedars
Towards the silent mound of stillborn verse.

I do not want to bear the cemetery cedars
Towards the silent mound of stillborn verse.

Towards this all now moves,
He who shall seek shall find it.
But what shall find the one—
My germinating moan?
The telephone stands still and empty is the mailbox.
My doctors all have plenty problems of their own.

The telephone stands still and empty is the mailbox.
My doctors all have plenty problems of their own.