Poetry Archives Bio
August 28, 2014
11:41 PM
Love in the Time of War

This is my translation of Любовь во время войны by Борис Гребенщиков [Boris Grebenshchikov]. This time, I have deviated from the original text less than before, still managing to maintain the rhythm of the song.

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

I don't remember how I stepped out the door.
But here, the heaviest sky over a broken road,
At the end of which they lie about our promised rest from afar.

Above us unfurled a winter banner.
No faces against us, no faces beside us.
Don't dare approach until you tell us who you really are.


Out on the streets rage, the engine roars.
All rolled up into asphalt that same forest
Where was revealed to us that which you can't say in words.

I now hear the work of shovels,
We are the targets of sunset cannons,
But soon their bullets will start exploding right in their hands.


I feel with my spine the thickening shadows' haunting.
The river on fire, and the bridges raised from the shore.
In his kindness the good Lord grants us that which we wanted.
Grants us the love, the love, the love, in the time of war.


And I reach out my palms—my palm,
But it's all the same as putting out fire with napalm.
Hand in hand, abyss—I know this madness by heart.

And I don't know who I am, or recall whom I've been,
But my blood is now much stronger than steel,
They'll be shit out of luck when I'll finally wake up.


I know in my mind that around neither ice nor snowdrifts,
But I'm neck-deep in snow and can't see spring as before.
Lord, tell me who we are that we all so wished

So that the love, the love, the love,
The love, the love, the love,
Without fail in the time of war.