Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Phoenix-Bird (Marina Tsvetaeva)

What is not needed by others, bring to me:
Everything must be burned in my fire.
I lure life, and I attract death
Into the airy gift of my flame.

My flame loves lightweight materials:
Last year's kindling - wreaths - words.
The flame is radiant from such fuel.
You will rise again - cleaner than ash.

 A Phoenix-bird am I, only I sing in the fire.
You are the basis of my life on high,
I burn, soaring, and burn to the ground
And let your night then be bright.

Bonfire of ice, fiery fountain,
On high I occupy my lofty camp,
On high I carry my great rank,
Of both Companion and Heiress.

--Marina Tsvetaeva, September 2, 1918

Firebird, Janusz Korczak-Ziolkowski

Janusz Korczak-Ziolkowski, a contemporary painter, said he was inspired by the music of Igor Stravinsky.

Что другим не нужно - несите мне:
Всё должно сгореть на моем огне!
Я и жизнь маню, я и смерть маню
В лёгкий дар моему огню.

Пламень любит лёгкие вещества:
Прошлогодний хворост - венки - слова.
Пламень пышет с подобной пищи!
Вы ж восстанете - пепла чище!

Птица-Феникс я, только в огне пою!
Поддержите высокую жизнь мою!
Высоко горю и горю до тла,
И да будет вам ночь светла.

Ледяной костёр, огневой фонтан!
Высоко несу свой высокий стан,
Высоко несу свой высокий сан -
Собеседницы и Наследницы!

2 сентября 1918

the water-thrush

In the quiet heart of the ice-covered valley, the river murmured, trickling.

In the frigid stream, a water-thrush was dipping and diving.

He finished his supper, and flitted to an icy branch in the center of the stream. The fact that he was not yet frozen, and the non-stop flicker of his movements, appeared to constitute a procession of miracles.

And then, not only was he improbably and throbbingly alive, he was -- singing. A warble -- a few piercing, leaping trills -- the sort of call that must have left in its wake traces of yearning, of wordless verses painted on the pewter sky.

In response, another tiny bird flew directly over his head. In less than a blink, he was off the branch, airborne, swirling into formation with his mate, until he disappeared into the forest behind me.

I realized that I had nearly forgotten to breathe, while listening to his song.  


Snow is everywhere; quiet all around;
Nature slumbers in a winter dream,
And between the clouds, gray and grimacing,
The dull daylight is peeking.

Above my empty window
Is only a single bird's nest,
But it serves to remind me
of spring, of flowers, and the sun!

--Ivan Belousov

Всюду снег; кругом всё тихо;
Зимним сном природа спит,
И сквозь туч — седых и хмурых —
Тускло солнышко глядит.

Над моим окном пустое
Птичье гнёздышко одно —
Но весну, цветы и солнце
Мне напомнило оно!..

Иван Белоусов

the song of a shell sapphire melting inside jade a color unnamed Ofra Haza's version of this song defies categoriz...

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