Freeman

POETRY

The Night Before the First of June

APRIL 18, 2014 by ARSENY TARKOVSKY

And while the last notes of the last
Nightingales continue to glide
The pink foam of hawthorn
Vaguely gleams at your bedside,

While the train bridge lies down
Under the wheels like a suicide
And my life flies headlong
Above the river’s black rippled bed—

Sleep in your glade as if under stage lights,
Sleep—this night is shorter than your love.
Sleep in this fairy tale, in this hive
Of nameless night, in the forest of memories.

So this is when I’ve become who I was meant
To be. With each new day, each day is dearer.
With every night, my impatient judgment
Of fate grows more biased and severe.

Translated by Philip Metres and Dmitri Psurtsev

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

May 2014

ABOUT

ARSENY TARKOVSKY

Arseny Tarkovsky (1907-1989) was a Russian poet who spent most of his life as a translator, only publishing his own poems after Stalin’s death (beginning in 1962). His work emerges from a visionary sensibility that became his way of forging a Russian art outside of Soviet realism. He was wounded in World War II, lost a leg to gangrene, and wrote some of the most powerful poems about the War.

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required
Sign me up for...

CURRENT ISSUE

September 2014

For centuries, hierarchical models dominated human organizations. Kings, warlords, and emperors could rally groups--but also oppress them. Non-hierarchical forms of organization, though, are increasingly defining our lives. It's no secret how this shift has benefited our social lives, including dating, and it's becoming more commonplace even in the corporate world. But it has also now come even to organizations bent on domination rather than human flourishing, as the Islamic State shows. If even destructive groups rely on this form of entrepreneurial organization, then hierarchy's time could truly be coming to an end.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION