English poetry

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Memento

Memento

Like a reminder of this life
Of trams, sun, sparrows,
And the flighty uncontrolledness
Of streams leaping like thermometers,
And because ducks are quacking somewhere
Above the crackling of the last, paper-thin ice,
And because children are crying bitterly
(remember children’s lives are so sweet!)
And because in the drunken, shimmering starlight
The new moon whoops it up,
And a stocking crackles a bit at the knee,
Gold in itself and tinged by the sun,
Like a reminder of life,
And because there is resin on tree trunks,
And because I was madly mistaken
In thinking that my life was over,
Like a reminder of my life –
You entered into me on stockinged feet.
You entered – neither too late nor too early –
At exactly the right time, as my very own,
And with a smile, uprooted me
From memories, as from a grave.
And I, once again whirling among
The painted horses, gladly exchange,
For one reminder of life,
All its memories.
1974

Translated by Arthur Boyars amd Simon Franklin



Poem Memento - Yevgeny Yevtushenko