Five Poems, Trans. J. Kates
Translated from the Russian by J. Kates
Whether Ares once incited his sister Eris to battle or
With the connivance of their father she pulled her brother into discord;
Whether Madame la Mort was bidden by Herr Tod
For a bite to eat, or he invited her as a neighbour
To a feast — but from time immemorial until now
(Whether generated by iron carbide or
biological oil.) lists of the fallen
Арес ли некогда подбил на брань сестру, Эрида ли,
При попустительстве отца, в раздор втянула брата;
Мадам ли Mort, бывало, званым был герр Tod
На угощенье, тот ли по-соседски приглашал
Её на пиршество, — но исстари доныне
(Порождена ли углеродистым железом или
Органогенна нефт.) обыкновенны сводки
It is said, the wolf shall dwell with the lamb
And the lion shall eat green herb like the ox
Under olive trees that
Survived the Deluge, side by side
To wait out the heat,
But will not equality and fraternity lead
To a lack of sacrifice
And, consequently, to a return of fear?
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