Insomnia

Another try at translating some Marina Tsvetaeva, this time from the Insomnia cycle. #10, my favourite, seems pretty untranslateable. I have bad (yes, even more bad) translations of most of the other ones.

(2)
I like kissing
Hands, and I like
Giving names
And also throwing open
Doors!
– Wide open – into darkest night.

Holding my head
To listen, as some heavy tread
Lightens
As wind alights on
A sleepy, sleepless wood

O, night!
Somewhere the springs leap
I’m drowsing
Almost asleep
Out in the deep
Someone’s drowning

(4)
After a sleepless night the body grows feeble
Not under your – or anybody’s – control
In the slow sinews, a feeling of whining needles
And like an angel, you smile upon one and all

After a sleepless night the hands grow frailer
And deeply uncared-about are both friend and foe
Every happenstance sound is an entire rainbow
And you catch the aroma of Florence despite the snow

Lips grow tenderly lighter and round the sunken
Eyes, the shadows grow gold – it’s the night that lights
This brightest of faces – and as the night darkens
Only one thing grows darker in us – the eyes.

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One Response to Insomnia

  1. Pingback: Insomnia 6 | Rated Zed

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