More attempts at poetic translation

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February 17, 2006 by AK

I’m taking liberties with a 1908 poem by Alexander Blok.

Nailed to the bar,
dead drunk. What do I care?
Ah look — my bliss there, on a sleigh
gone into silvery smoke.

Flying on the sleigh, drowned in the snow
of times, the faraway of centuries.
It’s overswept my soul,
the silvery haze from ‘neath the hooves.

Into the dead of dark, sparks sputter.
The sparks — all night, all night it’s light.
The jingle-bell is prattling on
that bliss is gone.

Only the golden harness
is seen all night… is heard all night…
And you, echoless soul, you’re all
dead drunk… dead drunk…


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