Translation and a poetry reading

Forty-five years ago, I began translating Russian poetry. Okay, I was a strange young adult. But this year, a book of my poetry translations was finally published, Poems from the Stray Dog Cafe: Akhmatova, Mandelstam, and Gumilev. Here’s one of the poems:

StrayDog-679x1024_optНо я предупреждаю вас,
Что я живу в последний раз.
Ни ласточкой, ни кленом,
Ни тростником и ни звездой,
Ни родниковою водой,
Ни колокольным звоном –
Не буду я людей смущать
И сны чужие навещать
Неутоленным стоном

Ah, but I am warning you
This life’s the last I’m living through.
Not as a swallow, or a poplar
Not as a reed or a star,
Not as water from a well
Nor a bell’s hollow song—
I won’t return to trouble men
Or visit stranger’s dreams again
With my unquenchable lament.

Anna Akhmatova,  1940

If you like this, you can hear more at the Center for the Book in San Francisco (an interesting place to visit) this Friday, August 9, as part of a reading of Littoral Press authors:

Susan Gangel l William A. Henkin l Karen Lee Hones l Rick Kempa l Kit Kennedy Stephen Kessler l Joe Lamb l Bill Mayer l Meryl Natchez l Steven Rood

Friday, Auqgust 9, 2013 at 7 p.m.

San Francisco Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island St. at 16th, San Francisco, 415-565-0545

Or you can buy a copy of the book (listed on page 4).