Out of the Snow, Our Eyes Defiant

(The following is the final in a series of five poems I am posting from The New Russian Poets: 1953 to 1966: An Anthology, selected, edited, and translated by George Reavey. I am also including my original photography with the posts.
This is the second poem by Bella Akhmadulina. For more information on this poet, see the previous post
I dedicate today’s post to my husband.)

Bella Akhmadulina

We now observe the rules of winter,
and on the snow impose design
and, in play restraining laughter,
we scoop the white snow from the ground.

And then, as if foreseeing ill,
pedestrians crowd about the fence;
an anxious question gnaws at them:
what are they doing, this odd couple?

We’re making a snowman– that is all.
We are triumphant and amazed
when tapering height and breadth depend
on every movement that we make.

You say: “Just look how well I mold.”
You are so excellent at this–
to formlessness imparting form.
I answer: “Look, how much I love.”

Obedient to our least command,
snow gives precision to your features.
I then detect the beauty of
your face as you bend to the snow.

Past all these people then we stride
out of the snow, our eyes defiant.
When playing games, my love, your features
should always be childlike and intent.

To his continued labor try to yield,
O work that my beloved does!
Grant him the fluency of a child
who draws a chimney and a house.


birdsBirdhouse, 2006. Taken with a pinhole-modified Holga 120.
See more here.

Reavey, George, ed. The New Russian Poets: 1953-1966: An Anthology. Comp./Trans. George Reavey. 1st ed. New York: October House Inc., 1966.
Citing this page:
Solomon, Alana. “Out of the Snow, Our Eyes Defiant.” Ortolana Studio & Press. Ortolana Studio & Press, 26 May 2017. Web.

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