Archive for June, 2008

The Guest

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 30, 2008 by mikhailych

The Guest

Young man,
Let’s have chat.
I would like to hear,
That voice of your’s…

With a simple phrase,
Or a lone word,
Pay me a visit,
On the sixth floor.

I’ll greet you,
At the square table.
We’ll brew some tea.
It’ll be warm, inviting.
You’ll say:
“This room is small.”
You’ll ask:
“Will there be any girls?”
Today it will be,
Just you and me.
Have a seat comrade,
We’ll chat.

“What times!”
“What strange days!”
“We are being devastated!”
“…Or are we devastating?”
I will ask you.
And you will respond:
“We are winning.:
“Our path is true.”

Yet, wherever you look,
It’s enemies, enemies…
Wherever you go,
I say to myself:
“Run faster!”
“Run quicker!”
“You have to say that I’m right!”
And you’ll respond:
“Comrade, you are mistaken.”

Later we’ll chat,
About poetry,
It’s always a topic of conversation,
Later you’ll say:
“I have to go.”

I’m again alone,
And once again,
The world enters my room,
I touch it with my finger,
Sing a song about it.
Make a small dab,
Then I retreat…
I see that the world is squinting,
Then it opens its eyes wide.

Then I will hug it,
Hold it close.
It’s round, big,
And my,
Departed guest,
Will be waved off,
By the two of us.


-Vsevolod Bagritsky (Translated by me)

I definetly need to come back to this one. Parts of it still sound awkward to me.



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2008 by mikhailych

Aleksandr Tvardovsky
The fir tree becomes more conspicuous in the forest,
It is empty, tidied up before nightfall,
And naked as a worn broom.
Along the country road, caked in mud.
Pierced by menacing frost,
A withier shrub quivers and whistles.


-Aleksandr Tvardovsky (Translated by me)

Above the Distant Plain…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 28, 2008 by mikhailych

Vsevolod Bagritsky
Above the distant plain,
(Perhaps it was winter, perhaps it was summer,)
Flew a black raven,
And he cawed above the pine forest.
And at that instant,
I became a poet.
And at that instant, at that moment,
Life took me into its stern hands.
And the spinning of the world,
And the song of the finch…
I came to understand it better,
Than all other knowledge.


-Vsevolod Bagritsky (Translated by me)

Golden Moments Are Fleeting…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2008 by mikhailych

Boris Smolensky

Golden moments are fleeting,
Bitter ones, believe me, are always with us,
And they, whether we like it or not,
Lie in folds, by our eyes.

-Boris Smolensky (Translated by me)

Personal Elbe

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 23, 2008 by mikhailych

So, if anyone is interested in checking out any more of my original writing, they can see a poem, Personal Elbe, that I penned, or rather typed, at 



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by mikhailych

So a few days ago I posted a link to Anna Bochman’s story of emigration and identity. I’m not sure if my story is as good, or interesting, seeing as I was born here. Yet, still I have a slew of impressions on growing up in the echo of emigration. So for your consideration and reading pleasure, my non-emigre emigre memoir:

Personally I feel that all the stories on there are excellent and worth looking through and that any of you that have read mine or Anna’s should spend some time perusing the rest.

Emigre Recolletions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2008 by mikhailych

So a family friend of mine, Alexei Bayer, is spearheading a web project collecting the memoirs and stories of the Third Wave of Russian emigration. That is, the wave of emigration  the that was/is overwhelmingly Jewish, the wave of emigration that brought my parents here. I am planning to contribute my own writing to it in the very near future. In the meantime, I would like to share a link to a story written by an old college friend of mine from Vassar, and very talented writer, Anna Bochman.