Speaking In Tongues
Scribbling In Voices

David Samoylov

 Translated by Alex Sitnitsky


* * *

Poetry has to be strange
And senseless, vague, out of range,
And clear like glass, and also it
Must be as simple as day’s heat.
Like moisture of a creek — clean
With everything alike and kin,
And branchy like a tree, alive,
And very brief like our life.


I remember: my Dad -- he is full
Of vitality, trying to manage
All those packing; the cabbie -- he's cool;
And the horse, and the springs of the carriage.

A lonely streetcar in Moscow looks
Like an flimsy, old coach. The wheel rolls
With the flocks of the furious rooks
Over suburbs and over cathedrals.

I remember my Mom. She is shy,
She is smiling and happily breathing.
We are going somewhere. But why
Are we going somewhere and whither

Are we going through Moscow? Nice,
Bustle is the immense city fair.
And gold cupolas, cupolas rise
While we're going, we going somewhere.

There is a clatter of hoofs in the street.
Jungle clatter. So rhythmic and loud.
And the candles of stars have been lit
When the fire of cupolas dies out.

Dad's still young. As well as my Mom.
And the carriage is harnessed by the fever
Of the stallions -- ready to run.
We are going somewhere, somewhere..