Friday, January 16, 2015

Arseny Tarkovsky Compass Awards.

Арсений Тарковский 
(1907-1989, photo mid 30s)

Cardinal Points Journal is holding their Arseny Tarkovsky translations awards ceremony and readings in New York this Saturday  (Poets House, at 4 pm.). Cardinal Points has had Russian poetry translation contests for several years now, each devoted to one particular poet. Last year's contest was dedicated to Arseny Tarkovsky, father of the film director Andrey. (wikipedia about Arseny and a portrait gallery of him.)

Winning translations will appear on the Cardinal Points website and in the 5th volume of the almanac scheduled to come out in a few months.

Cardinal Points website is here and direct link to Tarkovsky contest page is here, for additional information mail Compass (compass at StoSvet dot net) or go to their facebook page

This translation by Laurence Bogoslaw (USA) won the first prize. 

In autumn’s final weeks, on the decline 
Of bitter life,
Filled to the brim with wistfulness, I walked
Into a leafless, nameless wood.
It was engulfed from edge to edge in milk-
White fog like frosted glass. Its hoary branches
Dripped tears distilled like those
That only trees weep on the eve
Of winter that drains everything of color.
And then a miracle occurred: at sunset
Out of a raincloud peeked a gleam of blue,
A ray of light broke through, as bright as June,
A weightless spear of birdsong cast 
From future days back to my past.
And now the trees stood weeping on the eve
Of noble works and festive offerings
Of cheerful whirlwinds luffing in the azure;
And bluebirds started dancing in a ring
Like hands upon a keyboard, rising measures
From earth to the highest notes the air can sing.

In the first video, Arseny Tarkovsky reads First Encounters ("Первые свидания") in Andrey Tarkovsky's The Mirror. It is this poem that ends with the haunting lines: 'When fate was stalking us like madman, with razor blade in hand.' In the second video Arseny Tarkovsky reads 'Blurring Sight' ("Меркнет зрение"):

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