I just received the sad news of the death of Regina Derieva, a wonderful Russian poet with whose works I have been involved over the years as a translator and admirer. Her range was remarkable; she wrote both formal and free verse as well as numerous works in prose. As a “classical” poet, she was heir to the Acmeists. The religious component in her poetry is strong; she was a convert to Catholicism. For the last decades of her life she lived in Sweden.
From “Winter, Euterpe,” by Regina Derieva
The cast-off remnant of a centaur, on
its pedestal the head sits, turning green,
like Fet’s May grass under its little sun,
with fleeting space around and inbetween.
God doesn’t wonder, was the creature there,
the way the creature wonders about God.
Where you are now, brazen artificer,
creation needs no legs, and goes unshod.
Where you are now, there is no brass in feet,
no steel in voice, or gesture, or endeavor;
only the purest fluff, to every beat
and every breeze ecstatically aquiver.
Tr. by Alan Shaw