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Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXIII): Sophia PARNOK (1885-1933) RUSSIA: “Today I do not want you”, “Astăzi nu vă vreau”

February 12th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXIII): Sophia PARNOK (1885-1933), RUSSIA: “Today I do not want you”, “Astăzi nu vă vreau”

Sophia Parnok

Sophia Parnok


Today I do not want you

No, today I do not want you,
Memory, so just hold your tongue,
You vainglorious procuress,
Don’t procure me anyone.

Don’t seduce me down dark alleys,
To the places left behind –
To the bold or to the timid
Lips I’ve kissed so many times.

Sacrilegiously inspired,
I have ploughed my heart soil up, –
Rooting out the names of lovers
From my sacred calendars.

(From ”Other Poems”, 1919, published posthumously)
Translated by Diana Lewis Burgin

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Astăzi nu vă vreau

Nu, astăzi nu vă vreau, gânduri cernite.
Voi visuri, fiţi un pic mai potolite.
Codoaşe tristă, de trufie îmbătată,
Nu vreau să-mi mai oferi, nici când, vre-o fată.

Nu mă-mbia să merg pe căi de noapte,
Spre locuri ce-am lăsat demult departe.
Celui mult prea timid, sau prea adept
De sânuri, ce demult am strâns la piept.

Ce-am profanat, cândva, pe drum sălbatic,
Am îngropat adânc în pieptul meu…
Să nu mai pomenesc, nicicând, vre-un praznic,
De oameni ce-au uitat de Dumnezeu.

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN,
© 2016 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

* * * * * * *

The Russian Sapho

The Russian Sapho

SHORT BIO: The only self-identified, openly lesbian Russian poet, Sophia PARNOK had a relationship with poet Marina Tsvetaeva *), with whom she became involved in a passionate love affair that left important imprints on the poetry of both women. First book of verse, ‘Poems’, appeared shortly before she and Tsvetaeva broke up in 1916. The lyrics presented the first, non-decadent, lesbian-desiring subject ever to be heard in a book of Russian poetry. One of her masterpieces is considered the dramatic poem and libretto for Alexander Spendiarov’s 4-act opera ‘Anast’.

*) see: Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXII): Marina TSVETAEVA (1892-1941) RUSSIA: “A kiss on the forehead”, “Sărut pe frunte”

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