Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cranes at Dawn (M. Privshin)

At the pre-dawn hour, the scraps of dream spread out foggily; and then all rearranges itself into the world and from there back into itself, and it is clear by the sensation of shivering that the dawn will gradually appear, just as my body, my whole body, is like the house of the rising sun.

Everyone thinks that the sun rises with white light in the East, but this is not so: the white light appears later than the East begins to distinguish itself from the rest of the sky. It begins to blush a little, just as it happens upon the road on a dark night, when you notice a pinkish color, and ask if it is on that side or the other that a city with electricity is located. It is more vivid than the electric heaven, which always hangs over the city, due to the weakness of artificial light, because in the East during the pre-dawn hour the sky, lit up with the furthest rays of the sun, turns pink first of all. But in the forest no note is made of this change; there, everything until morning is counted as the deepest midnight. It was very amusing to me to think that I had caught the dawn earlier than all of the birds and beasts.

I put my palms to my ears, just as hunters do, when listening for the far-off beginning of the song of the grouse, and distinguished a trembling in the leaves. But everywhere there was silence. Following my example, Vyun also lifted his hands.

--Do you hear? he asked.

--I hear, I said quietly -- somewhere an aspen is trembling.

Suddenly the same bird peeped, by which in spring the hunters know the nearing of the hour of the grouse: in the spring she actually sings, but now she merely peeped. The trembling of the aspens was audible without the straining of the ears, and the pink area in the East began to quickly turn white. The stars went dark. The night undressed. The outlines of our aspen became clear. The night threw off all of its clothes, and then began to shiver; laying dew upon the world. Then the morning took it upon itself to dress us all in blue and red. The first crane on the first nest cried out, and the second answering him, then the third. I counted, as long as my hearing could distinguish them, the nests of all of the cranes in their homeland along the Dubna, and when the sun appeared, they all cried out at once together.

(An excerpt translated from Mikhail Privshin's Homeland of the Crane (Журавлиная родина.)

Cranes by Anton Lomaev


bluestorm said...

Magnificent! from start fo finish. The opening sentence ― a gem!

Iulia Flame said...

So glad you enjoyed this. :)

raw poetry by donna snyder said...


I hope you enjoyed your birthday.

Iulia Flame said...

Ah Donna dear - thank you ! there were some unexpected gifts. :) Much love.

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