“I’m carried by the ocean” (“Меня уносит океан”), Georgy Ivanov

Ivanov died in France in 1958 after thirty-six years of exile; and here is an exile’s poem.

To Petersburg, then Paris too
I find I’m carried by the ocean.
I see them, and I listen, through
Fog’s shroud and timbrel’s loud commotion –

With nightingales now shines the night,
Like melting snow, the stars have vanished
And souls – that can’t escape their plight –
With groaning disappear from sight,
With groaning they’re for ever banished.


Меня уносит океан
То к Петербургу, то к Парижу.
В ушах тимпан, в глазах туман,
Сквозь них я слушаю и вижу —

Сияет соловьями ночь,
И звезды, как снежинки, тают,
И души — им нельзя помочь —
Со стоном улетают прочь,
Со стоном в вечность улетают.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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