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Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin

My Groom And Friend

My groom and friend came from afar.
I kiss your feet!
He drew his circle around me.
I kiss your hands!

Light seems to set the world apart.
I kiss your armor!
And earth's idols do not attract me.
I kiss your wings!

The yoke of love is light and sweet.
I kiss your shoulders!
Your brand is burned upon my heart.
I kiss your lips!

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Artesian Well

In the feathergrass steppe
Sources lie buried,
The thirsty sun knows
Life isn't raspberries.

In barren haymeadows
A child tarries,
Walnut crosier
Outstretched, gold-eyed,
The bracing treasure,
Slender, streams.

They bubble deep,
Both song and splashes, -
In the live coppice
An April peal.

More wondrous than God's lightning bolts,
The artesian well fills
The sham spays' dry dugs

[...] Read more

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Music

I hug you, -
Both the rainbow to the river
And the clouds flame
In God's hand.
You laugh, - rain in the sun,
The mignonette bedewed,
And cunning is
A lilac star with eyelash.
Like a cloven comet
Figaro clowns.
Mozart's Tarot
Is cryptic and clear.
Lethean bliss
Sleeps sweet in trombones,
A tarry monastery rings
in a copse of violins.
What shadows does
a gaze cast into space?
You don't know? And you mustn't
look back, my friend.

[...] Read more

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We Were Four Sisters

We were four sisters, four sisters were we,
All four of us loved, but had different "becauses:"
One loved because father and mother told her to,
another loved because her lover was rich,
the third loved because he was a famous artist,
and I loved because I fell in love.

We were four sisters, four sisters were we,
All four of us wished, but had different wishes:
one wished to raise children and cook oatmeal,
another wished to wear a new dress every day,
the third wished everyone would talk about her,
and I wished to love and be loved.

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I Gather Motley Flowers

I gather motley flowers
And braid, braid a garland,
Sharp spears fall
At your victorious feet.

The sisters turn spindles
And spin, spin yarn.
Wild hops creep
Over fallen banners.

The cavalry flew by and vanished,
The storm thundered and hushed.
Lawlessness bore down, bore down -
Silence and light all around.

I stand in the middle of a mown field.
You stand beside me in shining armor.
I have found myself a Leader -
He is glorious and winged.

[...] Read more

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I Am Leaving Alexandria

Ah, I am leaving Alexandria
and will not see it for a long time!
I will see Cyprus, dear to the Goddess,
I will see Tyre, Epheses and Smyrna,
I will see Athens - the dream of my youth,
Corinth and far Byzantium
and the crown of all desires,
the goal of all strivings -
I will see great Rome! -
I will see everything, but not you!
Ah, I am leaving you, my darling,
and will not see you for a long, long time!
I will see much beauty
and look into many eyes,
I will kiss many lips,
I will caress many curls,
and I will whisper many names
waiting for trysts in many woods.
I will see everything, but not you!

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When Someone Says: "Alexandria"

When someone says: "Alexandria,"
I see the white walls of a house,
a small garden row of gillyflowers,
an autumn evening's pale sunlight
and hear the music of distant flutes.

When someone says: "Alexandria,"
I see stars above the hushed city,
drunken sailors in dark quarters,
a dancing girl performing the "wasp,"
and hear tambourines and the noise of fights.

When someone says "Alexandria,"
I see a pale purple sunset above the green sea,
the flickering of furry stars
and the light grey eyes beneath thick brows
that I see even when
no one says: "Alexandria!"

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Where Will I Find Words

Where will I find words to describe our stroll,
The Chablis on ice, the toasted bread
And the sweet agate of ripe cherries?
Sunset is far off, and the sea resounds with
The splash of bodies, hot and glad for cool dampness.

Your tender look is playful and alluring, -
Like comedy's pretty, pealing nonsense
Or the capricious pen of Marivaux.
Your Pierrot nose and intoxicating lips
Set my mind awhirl like "The Marriage of Figaro."

The spirit of trifles, charming and airy,
Love of nights luxuriant or stifling,
The happy ease of the carefree life!
Ah, a stranger to obedient miracles, I am true
To your flowers, happy land!

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Sun, Sun

Sun, sun,
divine Ra-Helios,
you delight
the hearts of kings and heroes,
sacred horses neigh to you,
in Heliopolis they sing hymns to you;
when you shine,
lizards crawl out onto rocks
and boys go laughing
to swim in the Nile.
Sun, sun,
I am a pale scribbler,
a library recluse,
but I love you, sun, no less
than a tanned sailor
smelling of fish and salt water,
and no less
than his accustomed heart
rejoices
at your royal rising

[...] Read more

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Fuji In A Saucer: The Poem

Through tannic steam I catch a glimpse of Fuji:
Against a yellow sky volcanic gold
A saucer narrows nature very strangely,
In shallow ripples lovely to behold.
The clouds, like little webs, like spider legs,
Are pierced by sun no bigger than a mote,
And bird-fish, fish-birds, flecks that will be dregs,
Spin azure topaz outlines as they float.
A tiny world with spring a world in it:
There comes an air of almonds, blare of horns,
And all the gulf if twice as large would fit
Encompassed in the hug of porcelain shores.
But now an unexpected twig - mimosa -
Has fallen where its shadow split the sky,
Just so, at times, in philosophic prose
A glint of poetry will catch the eye.

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