From room to hallway the candles passing glare
is extinguished. She floats on imprinted dances,
but in her fullest shape she is no longer there
in the starless night of our blue-black branches.

It’s time, we must leave – as we, the young ushers,
with our lists not yet dreamed but still dreams,
take up the remaining visible radiance of Russia’s
phosphoric rhyming from her last poetic seams.

Now we lead, come, inspirations noble affect
so we can live, in thought, and in books weave;
without our transient muse everything is wrecked,
so it is time that from this world we now leave.

And it is not because we fear that we offend,
for our new freedoms are in the good and wise.
We should just write, so we must now attend
all things that remain hidden from others eyes:

Now we see all the anguish and precious peace,
through her window, isolating and catching beams.
We gentle lunatics wear wearily a soldiers fleece,
amongst the boundless skies and caring streams;

A beauty, in reproachful stares; in young children,
playing hide-and-seek around and laying down
in rooms, a swirling mass of reconciled summer;
a beauty, in the reproachful stare of a sundown;

Then, what torment, in our sweeping hurt wrapped;
a lament breaking across the widening whole,
seams of emeralds from within the mist tapped,
but then, what words come I no longer control.

Now we are beyond the doorway of the mundane
in a new place… name it whatever you behove:
a wasteland, death, renunciation of our words vein,
or, speaking simply: the silence of eternal love.

In the silence of a distant cart now motionless,
where the track of foaming flowers is now visible,
lies our silent Mother land – a love of hopelessness –
a silent lightening strike, our silent seed indivisible.

David Scanlon – England – (1963 – )

Nabokov, V.V. (2019) Collected Poems: New Translations. The Foolish Poet Press, Wilmslow, Russia. THE POETS. Page Number 999.


Из комнаты в сени свеча переходит
и гаснет. Плывет отпечаток в глазах,
пока очертаний своих не находит
беззвездная ночь в темно-синих ветвях.

Пора, мы уходим – еще молодые,
со списком еще не приснившихся снов,
с последним, чуть зримым сияньем России
на фосфорных рифмах последних стихов.


The poem, in Russian, is still protected by copyright so above is only a snippet.  To see the rest of the poem please look at “Поэты (Page 179180)”  published by Мир поэзии (World of Poetry) or “Поэты” published by Internet source of Russian literature.  I first read and became curious about the poem in reading English version by Dmitri Nabakov (2013) “Vladimir Nabakov: Collected Poems.” Penguin Books; London.  The Poem was also published in Poems and Problems (1970).  McGraw-Hill Book Co; New York (Page 1718) published by Мир поэзии (World of Poetry)

Vladimir Nabokov – Russia – (1899 – 1977)

Nabokov, V.V. (1939) ‘Sovremennye zapiski (Contempary Annals)‘. Union; Paris. July Edition pp 262-4 (attributed to Vasilii Shishkov – a fictional personae)

Work is protected by copyright.

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