Today is Regina Derieva’s birthday

February 7th, 2019 § 0 comments

Regina Derieva (February 7, 1949 – December 11, 2013) was both versatile  and prolific as a writer. Her poetic work was about evenly divided between poems in free verse and poems in traditional rhyme and meter. It was those that interested me most as a translator. Among the poems of hers I’ve translated are several from the sequence “Northeastern States.” At the request of Alexander Deriev, her husband, I recently resumed translating these, and soon, if all goes well, will have completed all nine. Following is my translation of the final poem in the sequence:

Boston, MA

Golfers are leaving the golf course, headed for home.

A motorboat leaves in its wake a long trail of foam.

There are bulls here, but none that Europa has ridden.

Death is absent, or else remains distant and hidden.


That is why all are naïve and forthright and free.

The ocean’s teardrop splits space in two, as she

with her snow-white smile rolls over the land anew.

To multiply time, time must be shortened too.


There are things to forget, to get moving, rubbing one’s eyes.

One has to remain both here and back there, in some wise.

What has weight, like a syllable, has no soil or address.

It’s water-and-sky. America, may God bless.

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