My Translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s Cycle “Girlfriend” – Part 7

Two aristocratic women in silk white dresses are holding hands in the garden. They are smiling tenderly.
Illustration: The elegant Reventlow sisters by Heinrich August Georg Schiøtt (1840s)
My Translation: 
Her neck is lifted—young and free,
Like spring in reverie.
Who knows her name—who knows her age,
Who—home, who—century?

There is no light on these curved lips— 
Capricious and gentle—  
Yet I am blinded and eclipsed
By her Beethoven's temple.

It makes me tender—clear and lit,
Her face, a melted oval,
Her hand, in which a whip would fit,
And—in the silver—opal.

A violin bow could serve her hand,
But into silks it went,
How unrepeatable—this hand,
Unique, beloved hand.

(January 10, 1915)
Continue reading “My Translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s Cycle “Girlfriend” – Part 7”

Ode to Saint Petersburg

Snowy landscape with a statue of Peter the Great, the first Russian Emperor, covered by snow.
My photo of St. Isaac Cathedral and The Bronze Horseman (Peter the Great’s Statue), 2017.
The Spire of the Admiralty Building with an angel on top is visible, while the building itself is blocked by the snow-coated trees.
My photo of The Admiralty, 2017
The facade of the Winter Palace, framed by icy branches of trees.
My photo of the Winter Palace, 2017
Roses blooming in the Peterhof Gardens, surrounded by greenery.
My photo of The Peterhof Palace Gardens, 2020
Saint Petersburg - the city of the Dead,
Where dreaming spirits haunt the mist-cloaked streets.
A diadem of rubies crowns your head,
And silver armour lines your mighty fleet.

Let myriads of angels guard your spires
Against the pain and suffering of war:
Rejoice, the bygone northernmost empire,
Built on deception, cruelty, and gore!

The Winter Palace flaunts its azure gown -
A ballerina on the frozen lake,
Whose beauty flares, as if about to drown
Beneath the burden of her last mistake.

May a luxuriant, wild garden grow
Where once was land of misery and snow.

A reading of my poem “The Storm”

Dear Reader, I invite you to embark on a perilous journey across the Atlantic. This multimedia project featuring visuals of a tempestuous ocean was inspired by Vivaldi’s masterpiece – Presto from “Summer” (The Four Seasons).
It's Sunset. All the sea is covered by a lunar mist,
Although the distant land seems near.
The clouds thicken, as the salty dunes embrace and twist - 
Caressingly, away they steer.

Let the audacious wind disturb the airy sail: 
We have no fear of storms and saints, 
Between the hidden rocks manoeuvring without fail, 
Forgetting our old complaints.

The thunder rumbles ruthlessly and sways the sturdy deck -
A portent of misfortune grim.
The lightning's arrow left an incandescent track:
Don't take this darkness for a dream!

Encompassed by the icebound gloom and shreds of silver foam, 
Which soars to the stars, like smoke, 
We enter murky caves - where myriads of luring sirens roam: 
Beware of their mellifluous talk!

Alas, the only beacon of a fragile hope had sunk, 
These waters will be our demise!
The wild forget-me-nots entwine my burning lungs: 
"In time, life sheds its thin disguise."

The Night. With their amber eyes, the fervent harpies gaze, 
Awaiting the horrendous end.
Hold on! Amidst the chaos, we'll mount the towering waves: 
Embracing firmly, hand in hand.

Above the broken mast, a thunderbird is cawing briskly:
"Take off! It's time to spread your wings!"
Our life has flashed before our eyes, the moments - meagre, beastly - 
How evanescently they gleam!

Look, now the brutal current swirls, deluging our vessel: 
The helm is captured by the tide!
Don't cry, my dear, you're not alone, for we are still together - 
Love will eclipse the ninth wave's height.

Although the rampant ocean unfurled its grim abyss, 
We won't disperse without a trace: 
The wreckage of our troubled souls the water shall release 
Into the long-forgotten bays.

Transfigured by the tempest's rage, we swim to terra firma, 
Untarnished by the years forlorn.
As though the sleeping wanderers, awakened by a murmur, 
Our eyes behold the sun. It's Dawn!

The Waterfall of Memories

Your whisper haunts me through the night and in the light of day -
The waterfall of memories devours its breathless prey.

Beware! The languid turquoise guise seems utterly serene,
Yet thousands fell to their demise in this alluring stream.

Mnemosyne, a patron saint of the undying past,
Bathe me in your sweet revelry and turn my soul to dust!

If it were now to die - I would - for nothing will exceed
The water's luscious lullaby - intoxicating, deep…

A single thought is all it takes to silently succumb:
When a forgotten love awakes, the consciousness goes numb.

You are the gravity, which tempts, desiring my downfall -
Although the sombre heart repents, it answers your wild call.

I have become the waterfall, my tenderness cascades
Upon your lips - the memory of passion never fades!
This photo depicts a seagull flying over Niagara Falls with stormy clouds above
A photograph of Niagara Falls taken by me in the summer

The Azure Acrostic

Songs of the Siren by Victor Nizovtsev. This painting depicts a nude mermaid with ginger hair, sitting on the rose-covered shore and glancing into the distance. It is night-time, and spheric lanterns are floating on water, like exotic flowers.
Songs of the Siren by Victor Nizovtsev
Angel by Victor Nizovtsev. In this oil painting, an angel with golden wings is dreamily watching the clouds at sunset.
Angel by Victor Nizovtsev
Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev. This is a portrait of a red-haired girl. Only her bare back is visible to the viewers, as she is looking away into the dark. A garland of roses is woven into her wavy hair.
Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev
My dreams feel like drowning -
Your absence still haunts me...

Dive deeper, my darling!
Enchanted, yet free,
All heavenly angels
Remember their lovers

Emerging, like ambers,
Mesmerized by the sea,
My tears catch fire -
Are you thinking of me?

The Sweetness of Being Apart

The Sea Birds by Henry Ryland
This painting pictures two women on a terrace in Ancient Greece. One of them is lying, holding a flower, the other is sitting on the floor with a vase before her. They are gazing off into the distance, looking at the seagulls flying above the ocean.
The text in the picture:
When birds depart from native shores,
Too many fly astray:
This forlorn life the soul abhors -
My love was swept away!
The Sea Birds by Henry Ryland
Rose Garlands by Henry Ryland. This painting shows two Ancient Greek women making garlands from rose flowers. They are sitting serenely, surrounded by doves.
Rose Garlands by Henry Ryland
The Captive's Return by Henry Ryland. This is a portrait of a seated woman in a free-flowing Greek dress looking tenderly at a little bird perched on her finger.
The Captive’s Return by Henry Ryland
The Love Story by Henry Ryland.
This artwork depicts two Ancient Greek women, a blonde and a brunette, chatting on a marble terrace overlooking the sea.
The Love Story by Henry Ryland

When birds depart from native shores,
Too many fly astray:
This forlorn life the soul abhors -
My love was swept away!

Across the oceans - raging, deep,
I send a warm embrace:
The longing - harsh and bittersweet -
Sets parted hearts ablaze!

Soar higher, soft-voiced nightingale -
Your songs light up the night:
Pure sorrow carried by the gale
Transcends a swift delight!

The separation draws us near,
And turns into fine art:
There is a certain sweetness, dear,
In being far apart!

A Cosmic Villanelle

Mars, The God of War by VINCENT DI FATE. Acrylics/Digital painting, which depicts a giant in full Trojan armour. In the background, there is a burning city.  The citizens are trying to escape from fire and laser rays.
Mars, The God of War by VINCENT DI FATE
Star One by VINCENT DI FATE. In this painting, a giant UFO flying above Earth is pulling in an entire city with an immense ray of light.
All One Universe (1995) by VINCENT DI FATE
In this picture, a spaceship is flying near Saturn, coming close to an unknown planet. There are hundreds of stars and galaxies in the background.
All One Universe (1995) by VINCENT DI FATE
The Demu Trilogy by VINCENT DI FATE
This digital painting captures a spaceship approaching a high tower on a planet similar to Earth.  There are gigantic mountains and trees on the surface.
The Demu Trilogy by VINCENT DI FATE
Starswarm by VINCENT DI FATE
This picture shows a large alien squid fighting a submarine in the stormy ocean. In the background, a beautiful castle is mounted on a cliff.
Starswarm by VINCENT DI FATE
World of Tomorrow by VINCENT DI FATE
This picture is divided into halves to show contrast between the past and the future. On the left, there is an industrial city with factories exuding clouds of smoke.  A man with a gas mask is leaving the city with a futuristic rifle in his hands. On the right, a green landscape with fields, mountains, and fresh air is depicted. A handsome blonde man dressed in a white shirt is standing by the tree with a sickle in his hand.
World of Tomorrow by VINCENT DI FATE
I would give my last breath to be with you -
We can't find solace in a wistful dream:
No pain is greater than a brief adieu!

Amidst the galaxy's celestial view,
By night and day, my earthly fears grow thin:
I would give my last breath to be with you.

The sorrowful farewell hits me anew:
Your trembling hands, eyes - desperate and grim -
No pain is greater than a brief adieu!

This ruthless anguish I cannot subdue:
Your spirit comes to me - sublime, yet dim.
I would give my last breath to be with you…

Alas, the woeful memories pierce through
My heart, immured by the eternal stream:
No pain is greater than a brief adieu!

Beloved, let the stars reveal my clue
About the cosmic places - vast, unseen:
I would give my last breath to be with you -
No pain is greater than a brief adieu!

My Translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s Cycle “Girlfriend” – Part 4

Illustration: Devotion: the Two Girlfriends, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895
You were too lazy to get dressed,
Too lazy to rise from the armchair.
- Although Your next day could be blessed
With my pure gaiety and laughter.

You were embarrassed most of all
To walk at night amid the snowfall.
- Although Your hours could be bold
With my excitement - jolly, youthful.

My darling, You have meant no harm,
So irreversibly benign.
- You were all innocence and charm,
I was the youth that passed You by.

October 25, 1914

Click to see the original poem