It's as though something expired in me, something died -
An old person, as aged as time.
What hitherto I was moulding as an entire teleological body,
Has shattered on me, is scattered into ten thousand bits and elements,
Like a human corpse,
Which after death has given back to mother earth
What a human being spent all his physical life putting together out of it, filling it with his invisible ghost:
With minerals, carbohydrates, vegetable or animal fats, and with proteins, and made it visible and palpable, because he ate the mother earth when he ate: tomatoes and onions and garlic and dill and lettuce leaves and petrushka, which is Russian for parsley, and he also ate celery and mint and coriander and tarragon and basil and leeks and coloured vegetables and thousands of greens and types of pepper and dried herbs and vegetables and carrots and cabbage and beet and radish and gherkins and aubergines and maize, which you can boil or else peel and make polenta from it and eat it, and so on.
Thousands of sorts of soft fruit and any sort of fruit: plums and apples and pears and jujubes and damsons and smilax berries and korolioks, which is Russian for kaki fruit. And pomegranates and watermelons, and melons and strawberries and mirabelle plums and wild seedling mirabelles: oh, how generous nature is!
And figs and grapes,
After pressing which we get a liquid product, from this liquid product we can make for the little ones: grape-juice jelly, flour and juice blancmange and, if we don't grudge the walnuts and hazelnuts, we get churchkhela sweets, and we also have the right to make from this product, or the fluid we pour off it in liquid form, either grape juice or young wine, or whatever we like.
Put something over it and if we give it as bit of time, it gives us wine too for grown-ups.
And tart plums and small apricots and bullaces and sour plums and peaches and large apricots and cherries and morello cherries, not raw, but as preserves, as jams, which means we get the fruit pulp as a compote, and anyway, who can count how many things we get from nature and unite in our physical organization, which makes visible and palpable our invisible ghost, which after physical death gives back to the earth, reprocessed, everything that was received in the course of a whole life, and once again becomes invisible, like that teleological body which I was constantly moulding into a whole, which was shattered and scattered into ten thousand bits and elements, because it is as though something expired in me, something died - an old person, as aged as history.
Translation: 2007, Donald Rayfield
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem