New Snow (Пороша), Sergei Yesenin

porosha

A poem from 1914. Yesenin was 19, and had moved from Ryazan to Moscow to study. He seems to be missing home – and his short-lived and tumultuous years as a self-described hooligan were only just beginning.

Travelling. Silent. Bell tower’s tolling –
Buried under hoof in drifts.
Only grey cow’s gentle lowing
From the meadow idly drifts.

Fabled forest’s gently napping,
Spellbound, somehow, yet unseen.
It’s as if the pine is wrapping
White scarf round its cap of green.

Like old woman, snowy capping
Makes pine seem to lean on crutch,
And woodpecker branch is tapping
Underneath her snow crown’s touch.

Canters horse through the expanses.
Tumbling snow now spreads its shawl.
Seeming endless, road advances,
Rushes to horizon’s thrall.

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

Еду. Тихо. Слышны звоны
Под копытом на снегу.
Только серые вороны
Расшумелись на лугу.

Заколдован невидимкой,
Дремлет лес под сказку сна.
Словно белою косынкой
Повязалася сосна.

Понагнулась, как старушка,
Оперлася на клюку,
А под самою макушкой
Долбит дятел на суку.

Скачет конь, простору много.
Валит снег и стелет шаль.
Бесконечная дорога
Убегает лентой вдаль.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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