Vladislav Khodasevich

(1886 - 1939 / Moscow / Russia)

Vladislav Khodasevich
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Vladislav Felitsianovich Khodasevich (Russian: Владисла́в Фелициа́нович Ходасе́вич; May 16, 1886 – June 14, 1939) was an influential Russian poet and literary critic who presided over the Berlin circle of Russian emigre litterateurs.
Khodasevich was born in Moscow into a family of Felitsian Khodasevich (Polish: Felicjan Chodasiewicz), a Polish nobleman, and Sofiia Iakovlevna (née Brafman), a Jewish woman who converted to Christianity. His cousin Nadia Khodasevich married Fernand Léger. He left the Moscow University after understanding that poetry was his true vocation. Khodasevich's first collections of poems, Youth (1907) and A Happy Little House (1914), were subsequently discarded by ... more »

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Best Poem of Vladislav Khodasevich

Nights

for Sergei Krechetov

A thin howl from the dogs on guard.
Tonight still camped in the same place,
no-good vagabond orphans, we are
warming our hands at the bonfire.

A sullen look beneath the brows
from empty nights of far-fetched sleep.
The smoke is full of ruby floaters
whirled from flames that whistle and crack.

The waste says nothing. Silent, barbed,
a distant wind pursues the dust;
we sing with an evil dreariness
that's chafing at our curling lips...

A thin howl from the dogs on guard.

Translated by Peter Daniels

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