Sunday, June 7, 2015

My rendering of Alexey Mozgovoy's poem No. 10

This poem reads like Alexey Mozgovoy's Life-Fate's own lyrical Manifest.

The poem is inspired by Alexander Grin's early Soviet (hence late) Romantic novel, Crimson Sails (or Scarlet Sails), which seems to address the very issue with which I have become myself preoccupied, but only now at this later stage of my life: 1) What is poetry and the act of creation is meant to do for humanity's struggle and emancipation? 2) How come that the immortal and the wisest, most divine in man and woman--the universal soul--is seemingly so easily and commonly lost or switched off for us--by us? 3) What should we be doing in order to turn our intelligence (the soul) on?

In this regard, Mozgovoy, his character, his thoughts, his leadership, his words, and also his poems, contain much of the answers to the above questions which I sought.

The fact that the post-Soviet/anti-Soviet regime feared Mozgovoy more than it fears Nazis in Ukraine (whom, in the form of its oligarchs, it calls their "partners") speaks volumes. But only to those who have an ear (and a soul) for hearing what Mozgovoy says and continues to speak. To those deaf to his great spirit he does not say much and, I am afraid, he also has very little to say. To the rest of us, Mozgovoy is and remains an epiphany. A light lit in the dark. A voice of a brave and wise man. 

A father of Novorossiya.

The book, Crimson Sails, was published in 1923. Interestingly, Grin's novel (the ambiance and inspiration) and the last portion of his life is tied namely to Crimea. A movie based on the novel was made in 1961. 

The name of the ideal, romantic love of the novel, also referred to by Mozgovoy in his poem, is believed to be a slightly encrypted command, message reading: "Up to the sun!" Quite a Platonic idea or imperative, if you ask me. In English, downward oriented readers or spirits will undoubtedly only see one poor earthly animal or the Rear, which served Apuleius as a vehicle for a great Platonist satire.


Even if crimson doesn’t dye my sails
And I am in the steppe—not at sea …
But I wrestled with hurdles too
Just to catch a sight of you.

Or the caress in your gentle voice,
Whose fresh trembling makes me flow,
So, in your fairy tale, I might be caught,
For without that I would not live.

Let the sapphire of the shoreless seas
Throw the ropes off restless ships!
Let my dream be lucid as a mountain spring,
And that stream will be my fated fill!

There I will reach the Isle of Bliss,
My Al-Sol, my soul in the evening red.
For her only I no longer fear death
Unless we wouldn’t meet again …


The more there is that again,
The more the new does pain contain,
So does in Russian большe, “more,” “again,”
Include боль, “pain,” “complaint,”

Until all that as love at last translates,
And like lovers the start joins the end,
For only such love, which lasts till then,
May ever cross the shoreless space.


Пусть мои паруса и не алые,
И не море, а степь подо мной...
Но прошёл я преграды не малые,
Что бы встретится снова с тобой.

Что бы голосом нежным и ласковым,
Напоён был как водами рек.
Да пленён, что бы был я сказками,
Без которых, не жив, человек.

Синь морская, безбрежная - дальняя,
Коль прикажешь корабль снарядить.
Пусть мечта моя, будет хрустальная,
Я смогу её в жизнь воплотить!

Я дойду до заветного берега,
Паруса мои встретит Ассоль...
Не страшит меня крик буревестника,
Мне страшнее, не встретится - боль...

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