Four Pieces from Fields In The City; Poems To France



Ensuite elle fut prise dans l’Opaque*

Н. М.

There is an other rose – soul of my kith and kin!

oh rose – white-hot trumpeting

pressing against my longing! –


oh generation of sight:


paining against my eyes! –


as never

as in the days of simple sorrow:


of the son and of the field:


visited by the t h i n g s of G o d


*Afterward she was hidden in obscurity (Fr.)


ПОЛЯ В ГОРОДЕ; Листы во Францию

Геннадий АЙГИ



Ensuite elle fut prise dans l’Opaque*

Н. М.

иная роза есть – душа родного рода!

о роза – добелевшая трубя

вплоть до моей тоски! –


о рода зрение:


до глаз моих болящее! –


как некогда

как в дни простого горя:


сыновьего и полевого:


в е щ а м и   б о г а   посещаемое


*Потом ее скрыла непроницаемость (франц.).



(Book inscription)

    To Patrice de La Tour du Pen

as after many years

to one hungering

uneaten bread – discarded once upon the grass

it appears to those present in the world:


so  o b j e c t s  in dreams sadden us! –


it is then that we ourselves

in the image of things with our entire lives

appear in a dream to something intelligent… –


may  t h i s  bigger than “I”

greet all the objects-images:


from the entire “Une Somme de Poesie”*


*The title of La Tur du Pen’s collection of poems,

“Poetic Summation” (Fr.)



(Надпись на книге)


Патрису де Ла Тур дю Пену

как через много лет


хлеб недоеденный – в траву когда-то выброшенный

присутствующим в мире кажется:


так   в е щ и   в снах печалят нас! –


всей жизнью в образе вещей

тогда как будто сами мы

разумному чему-то снимся… –


пусть   э т о   большее чем “я”

приветствует все вещи-образы:


из всей “Une Somme de Poesie”*


*Название собрания сочинений Ла Тур дю Пена,

“Поэтический итог” (франц.).




(Book inscription)

        V. L.


as long as there is singing!

all the singing will be – about You!


and the center-foundation of the singing

may it come into being – Y o u r “I  a m  t h a t  I  a m” –


so precious to me:


(and so pure – as may be perceived with the wounded mind!) –

as though there is somewhere (hidden in mystery)

blood where God is being prepared.




(Надпись на книге)

В. Л.


будет лишь петься!

все пение будет – про Вас! –


и центром-основою пенья

пусть же пребудет –  В а ш е   “я – е с м ь”  –


столь для меня драгоценное:


(и чистое столь – как умом это мыслимо раненым!..) –

словно есть где-то (укрытая таинством)

кровь где готовится Бог






    Once again – to the memory of Ilarie Voronca


burying oneself into sleep – as though: into straw

slow-motion I see:

here he is – observing closely

brushing the snow off himself – yet again: “la farine blanche

d’une joie…*” – without whispering

(and soon – without a face):


just so the steady tingling light expanding all

ever wider higher: null and void – past ancient

shared visions –


(as though it was ever thus: like light in a dream

from the face of a peasant woman to me





*The white flour of happiness (Fr.)




Снова –  памяти Илари Воронка


и зарываясь в сон – как будто: в сено

замедленно я вижу:

вот он  – вглядывается

с себя стирая снег – все то же: “la farine blanche

d’une joie…*” – без шепота

(и скоро – без лица):


так увеличивает ровный свет покалывающий

все шире выше: пустота – за давними

видениями общими  –


(всегда как будто так: как свет во сне

с лица крестьянки – мне


без границы



*Белая мука радости (франц.).



Gennady Aygi (1934-2006) was a Chuvash poet, widely acknowledged as a seminal influence on post-war Russian avant-garde poetry for his synthesis of traditional folk lyric and the work of such European poets as Paul Celan and the French poets he translated into Chuvash, a Turkic language. His friendship with Boris Pasternak attracted the attention of Soviet authorities and he was expelled from the Gorky Institute of Literature in 1958 for “composing a book of oppositional poems undermining the basic methods of socialist realism” (not published until 1993). Having written in his native Chuvash, following Pasternak’s suggestion he began to write poetry in Russian in 1960. For the following ten years he worked in Moscow’s Mayakovsky Museum and occupied himself with translating world poetry into Chuvash, including the anthologies “Poets of France,” “Poets of Hungary,” and “Poets of Poland.” His own first book did not appear in Russia until Perestroika, in 1991, though his work had been well-received abroad since the 60s. Befriended by the British translator, Peter France, his Selected in English appeared first in 1997. Aygi had been repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and awarded the Andrey Bely Prize (1987), the Pasternak Prize (2000), and the Prize of the French Academy (1972).

Alex Cigale’s poems in English have appeared in the Colorado, Green Mountains, and The Literary reviews, and online in Asymptote, Drunken Boat, and McSweeney’s. His translations from the Russian can be found in Ancora Imparo, Big Bridge, Cimarron Review, Literary Imagination, Modern Poetry in Translation, PEN America, Two Lines, and Washington Square Review. He is currently Assistant Professor at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Issue #18 December 2012
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