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Poems in Translation

by Anastasia Gorbatova



“Calbharaigh”

Chan eil mo shùil air Calbharaigh

no air Betlehem an àigh

ach air cùil ghrod an Glaschu

far bheil an lobhadh fàis,

agus air seòmar an Dùn èideann,

seòmar bochdainn ’s cràidh,

far a bheil an naoidhean creuchdach

ri aonagraich gu bhàs.

 

 

“Calvary” (trans. Sorley MacLean)

 

My eye is not on Calvary 

nor on Bethlehem the Blessed,

but on a foul-smelling backland in Glasgow, 

where life rots as it grows;

and on a room in Edinburgh,

a room of poverty and pain, 

where the diseased infant 

writhes and wallows till death.

 

 

“Calvary” (trans. Anastasia Gorbatova)

 

My prayers are neither with Calvary,

nor with heavenly Bethlehem they are,

but with a lousy corner in Glasgow

where the rottenness endlessly sprouts,

with a morbid room in Edinburgh,

devoured by torment and want,

where wallows and squeaks an infant

abandoned by God to depart.

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