Gennady Alexeyev / Геннадий Алексеев

Gennady Alexeyev (1932–1987) lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, and lectured on history of art at St. Petersburg University. He was the first to introduce vers libre (free-verse) in St. Petersburg. Writing in that style as early as in 1953, he published his first poem in 1962, but since then had difficulties at publishing his poetry regarded as ‘different’. During his life time four collections of his poems appeared in Russia. Two more were published after his death, the latest one being Me and the City (1991). Two volumes of his Collected Poems were also published in St. Petersburg posthumously.

Translated into English by Anatoly Kudryavitsky.

Anatoly Kudryavitsky was born in Moscow of a Polish father and half-Irish mother. Having lived in Russia and Germany, he has been living in Dublin, Ireland, since the end of the last century. He has a background in biomedical science, in classical music and in Celtic history and cultural heritage. He started writing poetry in 1978, but under the Communists he was not permitted to publish his work openly. Since 1989 he has published three novels and a book of his short stories, seven collections of Russian poems, most recent being New and Selected Poems (2015), and a collection of English poems entitled Shadow of Time (Goldsmith Press, Ireland, 2005) and three collections of his haiku. His poems and short stories have been translated into fourteen languages. He is the editor of SurVision Magazine.

 

My Funeral

 

my funeral was modest

I walked alone behind my coffin

with a bouquet of violets in hand

it was a sunny day

birds were singing in the cemetery

and the gravediggers were plastered

later I got drunk at my funeral repast

I cried

and bawled stupid songs

I was pleased with myself

because I died at the right time.

 

Мои похороны

  

мои похороны были скромными

я шел за своим гробом один

с букетиком фиалок в руке

день был солнечным

на кладбище пели птицы

и могильщики были навеселе

потом я напился на своих поминках

плакал

и горланил дурацкие песни

я был доволен собой

потому что умер вовремя.

 

 

 

A Poem about the Disadvantages of Being Human

  

It’s good to be a monkey,

and equally good to be a parrot,

a rat,

a mosquito,

an amoeba.

 

It’s not very good to be human:

you understand everything.

You can see

that the monkey is a poseur,

the parrot is a fool,

the rat is wicked,

the mosquito is a bloodsucker,

and the amoeba is a complete nonentity.

 

This is depressing.

 

Стихи о том, как плохо быть человеком


Хорошо быть обезьяной,

и попугаем хорошо быть,

и крысой,

и комаром,

и амебой.

 

Плохо быть человеком:

все понимаешь.

Понимаешь,

что обезьяна – кривляка,

попугай – дурак,

крыса – злюка,

комар – кровопивец,

а амеба – полное ничтожество.

 

Это удручает.

 

 

 

 

Every Morning

 

Every morning

I open my eyes

and see the window,

and in that window, the sky.

 

Every morning

it reminds me:

I’m not a bird.

 

Каждое утро

p

Каждое утро,

когда я открываю глаза,

я вижу окно

и в окне — небо.

 

Каждое утро

оно напоминает мне о том,

что я не птица.

 

 

What I Want

  

I want, I want…

Who cares what I want?

 

I want to say:

Damn you all to hell! –

but what I say is,

God forgive you.

 

 

* * *

 

Хочется, хочется…

мало ли чего хочется?

 

хочется сказать:

да будьте вы прокляты!

но я говорю:

да простит вас бог!

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