“How many leaves have swept in…”

This is a translation of an Arseny Tarkovsky poem. (Arseny Tarkovsky is the famous film director’s father, and many of Andrey’s movies contain Arseny’s poems. Although I don’t think this one is in any movie). Thanks to Nikita and Victor for help with the translation.

*   *   *

How many leaves have swept in. The lungs of our forests,
Emptied-out, squelched oxygen bubbles,
Roofs for the nesting of birds, trestles for summer,
Wings of tormented butterflies, the ochre and crimson of hope,
Hope for a precious life, for rancour and conciliation.
Fall aground crookedly then, burn in bonfires, decay
Under our feet, rafts for the silly air spirits. And children
Of northern birds fly south without words of parting.
Leaves, brothers, give me a sign that when half a year passes
Green reinforcements will come to clothe naked branches.
Leaves, brothers, instil in me absolute faith
In my power, my touch, in my keen and virtuous vision
Leaves, brothers, fill me with strength for this life
Leaves, brothers, stay on the branches till snowfall

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2 Responses to “How many leaves have swept in…”

  1. enebeneres says:

    It is strange that you are translating Tarkovsky. I thought that you are not very fond of him, and it is not a very famous poem.

    • zolltan says:

      Я бы не сказал, что Тарковский мне не нравится. Просто, мне не очень нравятся его стихи “в среднем” — по-моему у него много не очень выдающихся стихов. Впрочем, как и у большинства даже великих поэтов. Но некоторые стихи Тарковского я очень люблю: вот это, “Вот и лето прошло…,” “С утра я тебя дожидался вчера…”

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