Russian Silver Age poetry translation series, 41/?
I am not so satisfied with this one, but today was a day I felt I had to get something done, and didn’t have the energy to do anything else I had planned, so I finished the partial translation I had sitting in my drafts folder for months.
Anna Akhmatova being spiteful.
It’s not your love I’m asking for.
It’s now locked up for safekeeping.
Believe that letters jealous, weeping,
I do not send to your bride’s door.
But take some wise advice of mine:
Let her read all my poetry;
Let her preserve portraits of me —
New bridegrooms are all so kind!
While those fool girls would rather claim
A full victorious sensation,
Than friendship’s sunlit conversations
Or memory of first tender days.
Then when you spend the farthing’s worth
Of joy given with your little dear
And to a soul once filled with mirth
Suddenly all so dull appears —
Then don’t come to my festive night.
I know not you nor your appeal.
How could I help, in any right?
Of happiness, I do not heal.
Anna Akhmatova, 1914; translation by Tamara Vardomskaya, 2016-January 2017.