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Many Talents of Dmitrii Bykov

Dmitrii Bykov is one of the most prominent contemporary Russian writers but he is still not known in the West. In 2006  Bykov won the National Bestseller Prize for his book “Boris Pasternak . He became the winner of the National Bestseller Prize again  in 2011 for his novel  “Ostromov, or the Sorcerer's Apprentice" . Only several of his works were translated to English:  his novel Living Souls was translated to English and published by Alma Books in 2010.  Dmitri Bykov is also a poet.

Excerpts  from Amid the Empty Meadows...

By Dmitri Bykov
Translated by Michael Marsh-Soloway

"Amid the empty meadows,
In the amber brume of the afternoon,
My sweetheart lies
Curled up beside me.

The bay willow is blooming,
Honey thicket and dogrose,
I, her lover,
Dozed off in the thick grass.

She gazes off somewhere,
Above the thick grass,
Above my pileous,
Dozed-off head--

And thinks, which of
The centrifugal forces
Will sweep us away, shattering
The remnants of our wings.

And all the while, I sleep blissfully,
She looks there,
Where hellish Hades
And black water,

Arms stretching out,
Embrace on the stoop,
And separations are long
And eternal-- in the end.

For the time being,
The sultry heat of Hades frightens her--
A dream, warlike and playful,
Through and through, comes to me.

But my dreams are not things
In which there is something prophetic.
I dream only of objects,
And scents, and color.

I dream not of separation,
Or a foreign land,
But the curve of brushwood,
And, perhaps, of her.

And this malachite
Rug beneath my head--
With the dispersal of the battlefield
Into its protective color.

I dream of automatons,
Cartridge pouches, boots,
Some squares,
Some circles".

Russian text©2000, Dmitry Bykov

Translations of excerpts of the works of  modern writers are used for educational purposes and literary criticism  only.
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