The Return (Возвращение), Konstantin Balmont

Portrait of Balmont by Nikolai Ulyanov, 1909

“I write non-stop,” Balmont wrote to the poet Lyudmila Vilkina in 1902, when this poem was written. “My love of life grows and now I want to live forever. You won’t believe how many new poems I’ve written: more than a hundred! It’s madness, it’s fantasy, and it’s something new. The book I’m going to publish will be different. It will raise many eyebrows. My understanding of the state of things has totally changed. It may sound funny, but I’ll tell you: now I understand how the world works. For many years [this understanding] will stay with me, hopefully forever.”

My thoughts turn again to the village that bore me
And grove filled with limes and that quivering swing,
Where mist-wrapped the violets turned azure before me,
Where timid, unwonted, my thoughts were in spring.

I want to retrieve my lost softness and meekness,
Again be a child, or another at least,
By boundless and deep things consumed in my weakness,
Take seat at the snow-white-blue paradise feast.

And then, though I’ve loved all those reckless caresses,
Such senses I’ll always regard from afar –
The evening I’ll love and a child’s eye’s addresses,
And whispering stories, and once more that star.


Мне хочется снова дрожаний качели
В той липовой роще, в деревне родной,
Где утром фиалки во мгле голубели,
Где мысли робели так странно весной.

Мне хочется снова быть кротким и нежным,
Быть снова ребенком, хотя бы в другом,
Но только б упиться бездонным, безбрежным
В раю белоснежном, в раю голубом.

И если любил я безумные ласки,
Я к ним остываю – совсем, навсегда,
Мне нравится вечер, и детские глазки,
И тихие сказки, и снова звезда.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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