Translations by Dimitri

When you were young, you knew just enough And no hound could pick up your scent Now you've grown open, you've thrown off you shield You no longer remember, who's right or blind You've strung a target mark round your neck: Draw the bow, shoot at me! Look at you: you're a walking target Still you've no doubt that your path is right But those, who are awake, don't need that garden of yours For no flowers, no stones it contains And even your God hasn't lend much support There are others; much brighter and stronger are they And that's just because your are now in the void Like you were painted on an old, forgotten canvas Neither in the beginning, nor in the middle Not even at the very tail end

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Translation Notes

Hi Vitja, I just looked into the poem and as I read the Russian text (before I even read your translation) English lines instantly started to "fall out" of my mind - boom, boom, boom... I thought I might write those up as well, - not to compete with yours!!!! - just to add a side-by-side, spontaneous Dimitri's "raw style" translation to the database, before I forget it. Yours is very poetic and very good!! But it's a short one, so it can be done very quickly, practically on the fly. Hope you don't mind. It's just my idea of the poem, so to say what's on Dimitri's mind, when he reads the BG Russian text, nothing more.

Когда ты был мал, ты знал все, что знал,  
И собаки не брали твой след.  
Теперь ты открыт, ты отбросил свой щит,  
Ты не помнишь, кто прав и кто слеп.  
Ты повесил мишени на грудь,  
Стоит лишь тетиву натянуть;  
Ты ходячая цель,  
Ты уверен, что верен твой путь.  
 
Но тем, кто не спит, не нужен твой сад,  
В нем нет ни цветов, ни камней.  
И даже твой бог никому не помог,  
Есть другие, светлей и сильней;  
И поэтому ты в пустоте,  
Как на старом забытом холсте:  
Не в начале, не в центре,  
И даже не в самом хвосте.