“Discordant is her soul” (“В ее душе разлад”), Konstantin Fofanov

This poem was written in 1895, when Fofanov was at the height of his popularity. By the early years of the twentieth century, he was living in poverty and had succumbed to alcoholism. He died on his 49th birthday, on 30th May 1911.

Discordant is her soul
And sadness fills her dreams;
For whom’s the glance which stole,
The smile on lips which gleams?

It all she yet awaits –
Unknown by anyone;
And when her sadness grates,
Of reasons she has none.

As yesterday, the sun,
With scarlet blush burnt out,
In clinic’s garden spun
Translucent shroud about,

As pale as lily’s bloom,
She strayed when half-asleep,
In latticed windowed room
From her a song did seep.

That song was not a song,
But rather tears or blood,
Like sickness, dead and long,
Like sultry love in flood.


В ее душе разлад,
Печаль в ее мечтах;
Кому же нежный взгляд,
Улыбка на устах?

Всё ждет и ждет она –
Неведомо кого;
И в час, когда грустна,-
Не знает отчего.

Вчера, когда закат,
Алея, догорал
И на больничный сад
Прозрачный саван ткал,

Как лилия бледна,
Блуждая в полусне,
Запела песнь она
В решетчатом окне.

Та песнь была не песнь,
А слезы или кровь,
Ужасна, как болезнь,
И знойна, как любовь.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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