Natalia Belenkaya (natsla) wrote,
Natalia Belenkaya

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раз такое дело

Тогда запощу еще одну вещь Бродского по-английски, может быть, самую значительную*, и в общем, на ту же тему.

Anti-Shenandoah: Two Skits and a Chorus


"Why don't we board a train and go off to Persia?
Persia doesn't exist, obviously, but inertia
does. It's a better vehicle than any old engine, Johnny,
and we may have a comfortable, an eventful journey."

"Why do you call me Johnny when you know I am Billy, Mary?
Perhaps because of inertia? It's Johnny you want to marry,
not me. But he is not in Persia, he went off to Warsaw,
although after 1945 it's a different city also."

"Of course, you are Billy, Billy; and I'm not Mary, either.
Actually, I am Suzy: you are welcome to check my Visa.
But let's be Mary and Johnny, like in the Ark of Noah,
or nameless, the way we were when we were spermatozoa."

"Because there are but two sexes, there is a lot of nuance,
and history's where our exes join kings and ruins.
When someone's whereabouts become a mystery,
you should take the train of thought that goes to history."

"Ah, there is so much action! In history, willy-nilly,
Mary becomes just Suzy, and Johnny Billy,
B.C. becomes A.D., and Persia Warsaw.
For history breeds inertia, and vice versa."

"Ah, mixing inertia with history bespeaks individuality!
Mary, let's take a chance, this father of causality:
let's take the express to where folks live in utter penury
and where the reality quickly becomes a memory."

"Oh, he is my dear boy, my slowly peeled banana!"
"And she is my sweetheart filled with Tampax Americana!"
"The future arrives on time whistiling Domini Gloria,
and we must take it eastward, where it's always earlier."

II. Arrival
"What is this place? It looks kind of raw.
The tress stand as if they are about to draw,
thier rustle is so menacing. They, no doubt,
have seen too many movies - but were they dubbed?"

"I don't mind the place, but who are these guys?
Is this their true appearance, or disguise?
They all sell shoelaces but wear no shoes.
Can we explain to them that we are not Jews?"

"I never knew that history is so much
inhabited and curious, and prone to touch.
Oh, do they have a leader? A shas? A khan?
Frankly, I regret I don't have my gun."

"But I've read many people can't wish the same
wish. Unless, of course, they are insane.
I think we are quite safe; they don't want to kill,
though frankly I regret I am off the pill."

"Ah, this is the past, and it's rather vast,
and in the land of the cause its effects go bust
or else get outnumbered in more ways than one:
we've brought them all the future, and we are left with none."

"One shouldn't speak for others when things get tight.
You might not have the future, but I just might.
The future is derivative: they may crack skulls,
but because they've been so primitive, we've had Pascals."

"So it's goodbye, dear Mary. Hope all goes well.
We'll meet not in the future but, say, in hell."
"Oh, that would be nice, dear Johnny, that would be great.
But the afterlife in history occurs quite late."

III. Chorus
Here they are, for all to see,
the fruits of complacency.
Beware of love, of A.D., B.C.,
and the travel agency.

A train may move fast, but time is slow.
History's closer
to the Big Bang than to Roman Law,
and you are the loser.

So, our advice to you is, Stay put
if you can help it.
Always be ready to say Kaput,
but wear a helmet.


*учитывая, что "20-й век" есть на сети в переводе letaet, а Love song, A Song, Bosnia Tune и Blues - у меня.

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