Wait for Me – A Poem By Konstantin Simonov

KonstantinSimonovWait for me, and I will come
Wait with might and main.
Wait when autumn’s drizzles drum
dreary on the pane.
Wait in winter’s blinding snow
Wait in summer’s heat.
Wait when others long ago
have recognized defeat.

Wait when no more letters come
from places far away.
Wait when tortured nerves go numb
from waiting every day.

 

Wait for me and I will come.
In no least thought abet
those who to the strain succumb
and urge you to forget.

Let mother, let my son lament
my all too certain loss.
Let my closest friends asent
with a hasty toss
shake a tear and gulp a drink
in memory of me.
Wait but do not dare to think
I’m in eternity.

For how are they to understand
those who could not wait
That it was you, not fortune’s hand
who saved me from my fate.

 

Dear readers, this used to be one of my favourite poems. I’ve rendered this from memory because I cannot find this version of the translation anywhere, or a copy of the print magazine. So there may be mistakes here.

I have no memory of the translator’s name. I believe I saw it in a 1969 copy of the Sputnik magazine. It was accompanied by the above photograph.

If anyone knows a link to this version, or have a printed text, let me know. I’d be happy to edit my copy to make any corrections.

I believe this version reads far better than the one that is currently popular. You can find that version here. Compare for yourself.  You can read more Konstantin Simonov poems and learn more about the poet here.

For some reason, I find the older translations of Russian poems far more appealing than modern ones. Is that just me?

 

 

How much stays unseen… A Poem By Ludmilla Shchipakhina

Image

Image by NilookaD; Pickingflowers

 

How much stays unseen when some eye on us gazes–

A sub-text may run under clear-sounding phrases

And sighs of delight or expressions of sorrow

May differ in meaning from poses they borrow.

We lie on the grass, watch the sunlight which spreads,

But what are the thoughts that go round in our heads?

We meet. Stroll along in the garden’s deep shade,

But what is our purpose? What plans have we made?

Our time throbs and shakes with the problems of ages,

But man and his soul are a book of sealed pages!

At sight we are simple. No need for much guessing,

But what are our feelings? Extatic? Depressing?

We lunch in cheap restaurants without star rating

But maybe a triumph we are celebrating!

And perhaps it’s not transport that gives us a ride,

But invisible wings, which don’t show from outside.

 

Translated by Eva Strauss

From: Soviet Literature, 1979; ISSN-0202-1870