Translations by Dzhrew

They paint the walls brown And write words on the roofs. They have ginger lemon for breakfast And count one rouble as two. It would have flattered me to come to their houses And find that I'm stronger, But in order to stand, I have to hold on by the roots. You can buy yourself a new hi-fi, Or just go to the grocer's And meditate on the ceiling, Drenched in cheap wine, Stick your head in the TV screen And think you'll be smarter. But in order to stand, I have to hold on by the roots. They say her lips Became like mercury today-- That she went too far away-- That it's too late to trust her. But is there even one among us Who could cross her path Or say how we're indebted to her? But the further the faster it'll be. (? grammar) Everyone remembers the fathers but calls the mothers. And they say that it's more fun (?) In the house where they don't put out flames. But in order to stand, I have to hold on by the roots. So build up your budget for stores of wine To keep in your pantries. Feed on those who feed you; Forget about the rest. And I could be just like you And it would be believable. But in order to stand, I have to hold on by the roots.

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

Они красят стены в коричневый цвет,  
И пишут на крышах слова;  
Имеют на завтрак имбирный лимон,  
И рубль считают за два.  
Мне было бы лестно придти к ним домой,  
И оказаться сильней -  
Но, чтобы стоять, я должен держаться корней.  
 
Ты можешь купить себе новый Hi-Fi,  
Или просто идти в гастроном;  
И медитировать на потолке,  
Облитым дешевым вином.  
Сложить свою голову в телеэкран,  
И думать, что будешь умней.  
Но, чтобы стоять, я должен держаться корней.  
 
Они говорят, что губы ее  
Стали сегодня, как ртуть;  
Что она ушла чересчур далеко,  
Что ее уже не вернуть;  
Но есть ли средь нас хотя бы один,  
Кто мог бы пройти ее путь,  
Или сказать, чем мы обязаны ей?..  
 
Но чем дальше, тем будет быстрей;  
Все помнят отцов, но зовут матерей;  
И они говорят, что у них веселей -  
В доме, в котором не гасят огней...  
Но, чтобы стоять, я должен держаться корней.  
 
Так строй свой бюджет на запасах вина,  
Что хранятся в твоих кладовых.  
Кормись на тех, кто кормит тебя,  
Забудь про всех остальных.  
И я мог бы быть таким же, как ты,  
И это бы было верней;  
Но, чтобы стоять, я должен держаться корней.