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Clade Song 7 left sidebar seal crane/piper llama

Clade Song 7

read by Akim Golubev


Сегодня, я вижу, особенно грустен твой взгляд,
И руки особенно тонки, колени обняв.
Послушай: далеко, далеко, на озере Чад
Изысканный бродит жираф.

Ему грациозная стройность и нега дана,
И шкуру его украшает волшебный узор,
С которым равняться осмелится только луна,
Дробясь и качаясь на влаге широких озер.

Вдали он подобен цветным парусам корабля,
И бег его плавен, как радостный птичий полет.
Я знаю, что много чудесного видит земля,
Когда на закате он прячется в мраморный грот.

Я знаю веселые сказки таинственных стран
Про черную деву, про страсть молодого вождя,
Но ты слишком долго вдыхала тяжелый туман,
Ты верить не хочешь во что-нибудь, кроме дождя.

И как я тебе расскажу про тропический сад,
Про стройные пальмы, про запах немыслимых трав...
Ты плачешь? Послушай . . . далеко, на озере Чад
Изысканный бродит жираф.


read by Akim Golubev


Today I see your gaze is especially sad,
And your hands embracing your knees, especially thin.
Listen: far, far away on Lake Chad
A slender giraffe is grazing.

Bestowed with the luxury of harmonious grace,
Its skin is decorated in patterns, so magical
That only the shadow patterns of moonlit nights
Across the dashing waves of the wide lake rival.

From a distance, it’s like a ship’s colored sail,
Its gait is smooth like the joyful flight of birds.
I know earth will witness wonders at nightfall
When it flees to its grotto of marble and hides.

I can tell quaint tales of far exotic lands,
Of a black maiden and a young chief’s passion,
But for too long you have been breathing in
This heavy fog trusting in nothing but rain.

And I can tell you of a tropic garden’s shade
With harmonious palms and aromatic grasses . . .
Are you crying? Listen . . . far away on Lake Chad
A slender giraffe is grazing.


Clade Song 7 right sidebar hawk frog dog

Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev (1886-1921) was an adventurer and poet, and became Akhmatova’s first husband.  They were married in 25 August 1910, separated in 1913 and finally divorced in 1918. They had one con, Lev. While married both engaged in other relationships, but their commitment to each other as writers never flagged, and when the Bolsheviks arrested him on 3 August 1921 executed him one 25 (?) August as a monarchist, she grieved deeply.  He was one of the founders of the Poet’s Guild, which enunciated the principles of the Acmeist movement, and along with Mikhael Kuzmin wrote important essays and reviews that argued the Acmeist aesthetic particularly in opposition to Russian symbolism.  His poems are of interest and have been republished in Russia and translated into English.  Sponsored by the Imperial Russian Geographic Society, he went to Africa several times visiting Egypt, east and central regions.  He brought back artifacts housed in several Russian museums. African subjects are featured in many of his poems—the first Russian poems to feature such themes. After his early volumes in the Acmeist mode he later returned to a style closer to symbolism. In his last unpublished poems, he developed new style akin to later surrealists.  The late poems are much admired by Russian critics.


Don Mager’s chapbooks and volumes of poetry are: To Track the Wounded One, Glosses, That Which is Owed to Death, Borderings, Good Turns and The Elegance of the Ungraspable, Birth Daybook Drive Time and Russian Riffs. He is retired with degrees from Drake University (BA), Syracuse University (MA) and Wayne State University (PhD). He was the Mott University Professor of English at Johnson C. Smith University from 1998-2004 where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (2005-2011). As well as a number of scholarly articles, he has published over 200 poems and translations from German, Czech and Russian. He lives in Charlotte, NC.