Zoë Translates

Poems, original and translated.


“I love your eyes…”

I love your eyes, my dearest friend, With playful sparks, burning and brightening, That a gently raised glimpse may tend, And, like a cloud-strewn ring of lightning, Your graceful glance would let descend… Still there’s a charm of greater powers: You gaze on the ash of a zeal That once shone through passion-kissed hours;


For you there’s a sea, brimming With longing — calm, pristine Cradled in your arm a city sleeps Where my dreams are slow and serene A feeble lamp, under a half-moon window I see your name — laces of gold and silver For five decades binding me in their coils

Girlfriend (XV)

Through a mirror shrouded in dust, In the haze of slumber, I strain to find ways — as I must — Toward you, to shelter. I see a steamboat with its mast, And you are there, aboard… You, in the train’s fumes… Fields are vast, Where twilight’s grief is poured…

To Akhmatova (I)

O, Muse of tears, most beauteous of the muses! O you, furious issue of the glowing night! You unleash a pitch-black snowstorm all over Rus’, And your wail pierces us like a hail of arrows. We are stricken; and Lo! the name that was repressed One hundred thousand times — pledging to you: Anna

Girlfriend (XI)

All eyes under the sun — burning, A day like no other. ‘Tis to you, I am confiding, In case I should wander — Whoever’s lips I’d be kissing As time strikes for lovers, Whomever I’d pledge to, trembling With the midnight’s darkness, — Live, as passed from mother to child,