Many translators believe that just translating the meaning of each line is sufficient. This may work for some modern poetry, but it is my belief that one cannot translate Russian poets of the Silver Age, nor those contemporary poets who carry on their tradition, without staying true to the meter and rhyming scheme as much as possible. I want English-language readers to truly experience Russian poetry, and for that they need to really feel its waves of sound, its rhythms, its cadences, and its rhymes. This is poetry that demands to be read out loud.
I invite you to experience some of my favorite poems, collected below and translated 2010-2016.
In addition to translating poetry, I also write on translation theory--be sure to check out my paper Sorry, Wrong Address: Discovering Strategies for the Translation of the Russian Vy/Ty Distinction from Russian into English through an Analysis of the English-Language Editions of Anna Karenina and War and Peace, which was published in the Russian translation journal Mosty in October 2014!
KEY: PUB=Published; AWA=Awaiting Publication; SUB=Submitted
For more publishing details, click on each poem's link.
THE SOVIET ERA
Like Forty Years so Long Ago... (Compass Translation Award, Honorable Mention)
PUB All that had filled my soul
PUB On the Stairs
PUB The Lonely Oak
PUB The Fish Market
PUB The Bakery
PUB To smell not with the nose but with the skin of cheeks...
PUB O City!
PUB To Cheslav Milos
PUB And I smothered my rhymes...
PUB Oh, how great it can be...
PUB When you begin to stumble...
MODERN RUSSIAN POEMS
AND SHORT STORIES
PUBThis gold will die out before too long...
PUB Why, you ask...
PUB When shadows and dragonfly wings...
PUB Waiting for a Round Miracle
PUB Yana I remember perfectly...
PUB And the Last One