"Entering into my house, bring your dreams,
or a devilish beauty, or God, if you are godly,
but your petty decencies--leave them, like a hat
in the entrance hall."
An article on Khodasevich can be found here (scroll down to Khodasevich: The Poet Dissolving in Acid.) I found an excellent article on the semantics of Khodasevich as well.
A great translation of a poem of Khodasevich's into English, "Look for Me," was published recently by The Guardian.
One of my favorite renderings into English is a poem of Khodasevich's translated (and for all practical purposes re-written) by Vladimir Nabokov, who was particularly fond of the poet, an early mentor of his:
Orpheus (Ballada was the original title)
Brightly lit from above I am sitting
in my circular room; this is I--
looking up at a sky made of stucco,
at a sixty-watt sun in that sky.
All around me, and also lit brightly,
all around me my furniture stands,
chair and table and bed--and I wonder
sitting there what to do with my hands.
Frost-engendered white feathery palmtrees
on the window-panes silently bloom;
loud and quick clicks the watch in my pocket
as I sit in my circular room.
Oh, the leaden, the beggarly bareness
of a life where no issue I see!
Whom on earth could I tell how I pity,
my own self and the things around me?
And then clasping my knees I start slowly,
to sway backwards and forwards, and soon
I am speaking in verse, I am crooning
to myself as I sway in a swoon.
What a vague, what a passionate murmur
lacking any intelligent plan;
but a sound may be truer than reason
and a word may be stronger than man.
And then melody, melody, melody
blends my accents and joins in their quest
and a delicate, delicate, delicate
pointed blade seems to enter my breast.
High above my own spirit I tower,
high above mortal matter I grow:
subterranean flames lick my ankles,
past my brow the cool galaxies flow.
With big eyes-as my singing grows wilder--
with the eyes of a serpent maybe,
I keep watching the helpless expression
of the poor things that listen to me.
And the room and the furniture slowly,
slowly start in a circle to sail,
and a great heavy lyre is from nowhere
handed me by a ghost through the gale.
And the sixty-watt sun has now vanished,
and away the false heavens are blown:
on the smoothness of glossy black boulders
this is Orpheus standing alone.