“When passion’s approaching its end” (“Когда умирает любовь”), Yulia Drunina

Yulia_Drunina 2

At the end of her life Yulia Drunina (1924-1991) was greatly involved in the politics of the Gorbachev period. She was elected to the Supreme Soviet. During the August coup of 1991 she took part in the defence of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (the “White House”). However, depressed by the post-Soviet crisis, she took her life in November of the same year.

I’m not sure when she wrote this – it’s tempting to think it may have been at the end of her life, as the world she knew and loved fell apart.

Here’s this poem set to music.

When passion’s approaching its end,
No doctors or nurses crowd the ward,
And all of us know the ancient truth:
Embrace is no mark of
With storm inferno won’t begin.
Apportioning blame no purpose serves.
For now all the layers
Are cut –
The thread that connects souls is severed.

Now all of our quarrels
Are wars.
Now truces collapse in
An instant…
When passion’s approaching its end,
The chill Universe
Grows still colder.


Когда умирает любовь,
Врачи не толпятся в палате,
Давно понимает любой —
Насильно не бросишь
В объятья…
Насильно сердца не зажжешь.
Ни в чем никого не вините.
Здесь каждое слою —
Как нож,
Что рубит меж душами нити.

Здесь каждая ссора —
Как бой.
Здесь все перемирья
Когда умирает любовь,
Еще холодней
Во Вселенной…

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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