Anzhelina Polonskaya

(…) | In Your Land
March 9, 2014 Polonskaya Anzhelina



Let your heart beat like a gnat in an autumn lamp,

or don’t light the bulb.

The grape clusters have frozen and the grain ears are broken,

the white liner crawls across the blue wall,

or perhaps a gull is dropping toward the fishing tackle–

I don’t dream of anything but the death

of the things I’m used to.  Burning out like a lamp over my heart.



In Your Land


Fascism rules your land.

Handcuffs, and lies piled on lies.

Your stepfather has gone.  Following your father.

Where they will never meet.


Your friend, like a gypsy, led you away,

to bring you back, filled with emptiness.

A passerby turned the burning bush to ash.

An asylum far too small

for the refugees seeking shelter.


Oh, Lord. Ye, who does not give anyone

a burden too heavy to bear,

take off your halo for a while

and understand, like the Samaritan, peer out


from the fragile mix – flesh and soul,

and see what your creation looks like

when you are on the same level.





Оставь сердце биться, словно мошку в осенней лампе,

или света не зажигай.

Виноградные гроздья замёрзли, и сломились колосья,

бледный лайнер крадётся вдоль стены голубой,

то ли чайка склонится над снастью –

ничего мне не снится, кроме смерти

в привычных вещах. Что над сердцем горит, как лампада.



В твоей стране


В твоей стране фашизм.

Наручники и ложь на лжи.

Твой названный отец ушёл. Вслед за отцом.

Туда, где никогда не встретятся они.


Твой друг тебя, как цыган, увёл,

чтобы вернуть, но с пустотой внутри.

Неопалимый куст прохожий сжёг.

Убежище несоизмеримо

с числом укрывшихся, от гонений, в нём.


Господь. Который не даёт плечам

такую ношу, что не потянуть,

сними на время христианский нимб,

прозрей, как самаритянин, и взгляни,


как выглядит творение твоё

из смеси хрупкой — плоти и души,

когда взираешь на него не сверху вниз.




Translator: Andrew Wachtel is the president of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Previously he was dean of The Graduate School and director of the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, his interests range from Russian literature and culture to East European and Balkan culture, history and politics to contemporary Central Asia. His most recent published books are The Balkans in World History (Oxford UP, 2008), Russian Literature (with Ilya Vinitsky, Polity Press, 2008), and Remaining Relevant After Communism: The Role of the Writer in Eastern Europe (U. of Chicago Press, 2006). He has translated poetry and prose from Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian and Slovenian.

Anzhelina Polonskaya was born in Malakhovka, a small town near Moscow. She has had numerous books of poetry published in Russia. An English version of her book A Voice appeared in the acclaimed “Writings from an Unbound Europe” series at Northwestern University Press. This book was shortlisted for the Corneliu Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation. Translations of her work have appeared in World Literature Today, Poetry Review, American Poetry Review, and International Poetry Review. In October 2011 the “Oratorio-Requiem” Kursk, whose libretto consists of ten of Polonskaya’s poems debuted at the Melbourne Arts Festival. In 2012 a bilingual edition of her newer poems will be published by Zephyr Press under the title Paul Klee’s Boat. Polonskaya’s work has been translated into Dutch, Slovenian, Latvian, Spanish and other languages. She is preparing a new volume of poetry for publication.