Four poems of Viacheslav Kupriyanov

31 August 2019
Author :  

Viacheslav Kupriyanov studied in the High Navy School in Leningrad, graduated in 1967 from the Moscow Foreign Languages Institute. Freelance writer, a member of the Russian & Serbian Writers Unions. He has published several collections of his own poetry and prose. He is a principal strategist of contemporary poets of free verse in Russia. European Literature Prize, 1988, Yugoslavia. “Branko-Radicevic-Prize”, 2006, Serbia. “Mayakovsky-Prize”, 2011, Moscow. “Poet of the Year 2012”, Russia. Prize “European Atlas of Poetry”, 2017, Respublika Serbska. Books in India: “Creativity”, Kolkata, 2015; "Hastakshar sharad ritu ke", 2018, New Delhi. Yugra-prizes, Khanty-Mansijsk, Russia, 2018. Naji Naaman literary prizes, 2018.

 

Tale of a Red Balloon“

 

Once we possessed a red balloon

We filled it up with smoke

Forgetting, what we'd learn too soon:

A red balloon's no joke!

 

It slipped our grasp and struggled free

Then headed for the sky

But got snagged in a maple tree

The tallest one nearby

 

We shook the tree to knock it down

And soon our hands were raw

Until some genius went to town

And brought us back a saw.

 

We sawed that tree for half the day

Expecting it to fall

But red balloons do not obey:

It shot up tree and all

 

Up through the clouds we watched it go

Defying Newton's law

While we, abandoned, stood below

Still clutching that fool saw.

 

Translated from the Russian

by Lydia Razran Stone (USA)

 

 

ТНЕ EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS

 

The Egyptian pyramids
those bunkers
for state mummies
raised up
against cataclysm

poor boys
they don’t realise
that their curious descendants
long ago made them exhibits

in defenceless museums


Translation from Russian by Steve Holland (England)

 

 

SONG OF THE TIGER

 

I am the tiger

I am the thunder of taiga and the lightening of the jungle

Once when there still was a lot of fire

And still very little water

I came out of the fire alive

And began to grow plants around me

So they would reflect in my green eyes

But you should not meet my gaze

For my gaze is set at the edge of my teeth

And do not follow my tracks

For I am always behind you

And I despise man

For he is only the servant of domestic cats

 

 

Translated from Russian by Dasha Nisula (USA)

 

 

How to become a man

 

Stop

crawling

to save

your hide.

Stop

trying

to fleece others.

Don't let others

crawl

before you.

Tell yourself one more time:

stop crawling

to save your hide.

Stop trying

to fleece others.

Now try to become a man.

For a start,

try putting yourself

in someone else's

skin.

 

 

Translated from Russian by Francis R.Jones (England)

 

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