An Inscription on a Book (Надпись на книге), Anna Akhmatova

Akhmatova in 1959
Akhmatova in 1959

Shota Rustaveli is Georgia’s most famous poet. The “foolish mortals” of the last line is a step too far, I think.

What I have given is yours.
Shota Rustaveli

I speak from underneath the ruins here,
From underneath the landslide I am shrieking,
As if in quicklime now I disappear
Beneath a cellar’s arches, where it’s reeking.

And in the winter, silence I will feign,
For good I’ll slam the everlasting portals,
And still they’ll recognise my tongue’s refrain,
Again they will believe, those foolish mortals.
Leningrad, 1959

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

Что отдал – то твое.
Шота Руставели

Из-под каких развалин говорю,
Из-под какого я кричу обвала,
Как в негашеной извести горю
Под сводами зловонного подвала.

Я притворюсь беззвучною зимой
И вечные навек захлопну двери,
И всё-таки узнают голос мой,
И всё-таки ему опять поверят.
Ленинград, 1959

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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