The Void by Arseniy Tarkovskiy (1967)

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Today Russia celebrates birthday of Arseny Tarkovsky, the poet, who was one among the great constellation of 20th century Russian poets. He is also the father of Russian cinematography icon Andrey Tarkovsky.
This poem conveys to our readers a central theme of Russian culture, “The earthly things are not enough for a human being, who is born to be, not just to have.”

 

The Void

by Arseniy Tarkovskiy

 

Summer only began,

And already is finished.

It’s warm under the sun,

But the void is unnourished.

All that could be achieved,

In my hands lay unbanished

Like a five-fingered leaf,

But the void is unnourished.

Neither evil nor good

Have been wasted or vanished.

Flame burned bright as it could,

But the void is unnourished.

Life kept me by its wing.

I was saved. I was cherished.

Luck was always with me.

But the void is unnourished.

All the leaves are unburned,

Branches all are undamaged.

Day is rinsed glassy-clear.

But the void is unnourished.

 

Translated by Tatyana Korovina in 2012.

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