Archive for The 900 Days

Book of Essays

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2010 by mikhailych

Dear all,

A while ago I decided to gather some of grad school, mainly undergraduate essays together in a slim volume so I’d have a convenient way to have a record of the. Along the way I figured that perhaps some of you, my dedicated readers, (despite my rather long gaps in updating) may be interested in them too so I’m making them available on Lulu.com:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/voina-a-collection-of-undergraduate-articles-on-the-great-patri/6447404?showPreview

I hope you all enjoy them.

Also, as my semester winds down, I hope to get back the business that this blog was set up to do, provide well translated Russian poetry for all of you.

-Andrew

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My Home

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2008 by mikhailych


My Home

In the home where I lived many years,
From where I left the winter of the blockade,
A light once again appears in the evening windows.
It is pinkish, festive, elegant.

Glancing at the three windows that used to be mine,
I remember: the war happened here.
Oh how we darkened, without a ray of hope…
And everything darkened, everything darkened in this world…

Afterwards the owner did not knock on the door,
As though he had forgotten the way back to his own apartment.
Where is he now, absent-mindedly roaming?
What is the last place that gave him shelter?

No, I do not know who lives there now,
In these rooms where you and I used to live,
Who, in the evenings, knocks on that very door,
Who left the blue wallpaper as it was,
The very same wallpaper that was chosen so long ago…
I recognized it from outside through the window.

The windows’ inviting comfort,
Awaken memories of such bright, forgotten light,
That I believe that kind people live there,
Good, welcoming people.

There are even little children there,
And someone young, who is perpetually in love,
And the postman only brings them happy news,
And only the truest friends come here for noisy holidays.

I want so dearly for someone to be happy,
There, where I suffered immeasurably.
Possess everything that was denied to me,
And all that I gave up for the war…

However, should such a day arrive,
When the tranquil snow and glimmering twilight,
Will light ablaze my blessed memories,
So vividly that I will not resist knocking on the door,
Coming into my home, standing in my threshold,
And asking…well asking, “What time is it?”
Or “Water,” like I did on those roads of war.
If that happens, do not judge me,
Answer me trustingly and compassionately,
After all, I have come here to my home,
And I remember it all and believe in our happiness.

1946

– Olga Berggolts (Translated by me)