Translations by Dzhrew

Ivanov Ivanov is at the bus stop, And he's waiting for the chariot, Anticipating a mug of beer. On Monday morning life is always hard. And all around him, simple people Crowd around and mount the transport. And they stomp on Ivanov's feet, They step right on his wings. And he doesn't blend in with them, Ivanov and all these countrymen. He has Sartre in his pocket; And at best, his countrymen have a fiver. Ivanov reads the book, And the conductors come, And they fine Ivanov. On Monday morning nothing's ever right. He lives on Petrogradskii In a communal hallway Between the kitchen and the bathroom. And the bathroom's always full. And people come to see him With suitcases full of port. And they spend their lives On comparative analyses of wine. And then they leave. Just his best friends And the charming ladies Stay with Ivanov till morning. And then comes morning-- All smoked-out and dim-- To support the old thesis That today's the same day as yesterday.

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Translation Notes

Preface: I totally give up on any hope of ever doing anything meaningful with all this. This is a product of a more unemployed period in my life--the halcyon days of living s roditelyami with nothing better to do than battle linguistic attrition. Now I have guitar to practice. The translations are bad, I see from the morning once-over I am subjecting them to today. Notes: "Now that you can see all your faults" is not what I mean. I cite a section of my idiom dictionary which says that the Russian expression Boris uses is based on Matt 7:3 and Luke 6:41. Having no bible, I can't come up with any English equivalent which may have been inspired by the same passages. "Weathervane" is wrong. Need to find the actual nautical term for such a device. I'm thinking "crosstree," but only because I recently learned the word. I know it's wrong, but it sounds nautical. I started Ivanov off trying to make it half-assedly scan. I gave up. Curses. I think I posted a lot of these already. But my web-surfing skills preclude me from checking. And I'm fairly sure nobody paid any attention to them the first time, so nobody will care now. Somewhere I have another big text file of work-in-progress drivel that I'll (no pun) throw up here sooner or later. Dzhrew

Иванов на остановке,  
В ожиданье колесницы,  
В предвкушеньи кружки пива -  
В понедельник утром жизнь тяжела;  
А кругом простые люди,  
Что, толпясь, заходят в транспорт,  
Топчут ноги Иванову,  
Наступают ему прямо на крыла.  
И ему не слиться с ними,  
С согражданами своими:  
У него в кармане Сартр,  
У сограждан - в лучшем случае пятак.  
Иванов читает книгу,  
И приходят контролеры,  
И штрафуют Иванова;  
В понедельник утром все всегда не так.  
 
Он живет на Петроградской,  
В коммунальном коридоре,  
Между кухней и уборной,  
А уборная всегда полным-полна;  
И к нему приходят люди  
С чемоданами портвейна,  
И проводят время жизни  
За сравнительным анализом вина;  
А потом они уходят,  
Только лучшие друзья  
И очарованные дамы  
Остаются с Ивановым до утра;  
А потом приходит утро,  
Все прокурено и серо,  
Подтверждает старый тезис,  
Что сегодня тот же день, что был вчера.