“It sings, it sings” (“Душа поет”), Vladislav Khodasevich

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This was written in 1919, before Khodasevich’s exile in Berlin. It’s anyone’s guess why he was so happy in the midst of Russia’s suffering. Khodasevich continues to be little known – but he has his supporters.

It sings, it sings, it sings, my soul,
My soul is blooming so,
In truth this year beyond control –
Its cause I do not know.

The country’s shrines are coffin-lined,
There’s hunger, plague and sword,
But it’s as if in me sun’s shined:
It’s struck a joyful chord.

This ought to be a cause of shame,
But how to handle things
When soul defiant bursts aflame,
And sings, and sings, and sings?

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Душа поет, поет, поет,
В душе такой расцвет,
Какому, верно, в этот год
И оправданья нет.

В церквах – гроба, по всей стране
И мор, и меч, и глад,-
Но словно солнце есть во мне:
Так я чему-то рад.

Должно быть, это мой позор,
Но что же, если вот –
Душа, всему наперекор,
Поет, поет, поет?

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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