Regina Derieva: “I don’t feel at home where I am”

February 3rd, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

The Russian poet Regina Derieva passed away on December 11. This is her best known poem, in a musical setting I composed for it about five years ago. Performed here, in a first reading, by Maria Matyazowa Milder, soprano, and Arne Johansson, piano, in Stockholm. Thanks to both, and to Alexander Deriev, who organized it. Scroll down for a translation of the poem.

Audio MP3

I don’t feel at home where I am,
or where I spend time, only where,
beyond counting, there’s freedom and calm,
that is, waves, that is, space where, when there,
you consist of pure freedom, which, seen,
turns the crowd, like a Gorgon, to stone,
to pebbles and sand…where life’s mean-
ing lies buried, that never let one
come within cannon-shot yet.
From cloud-covered wells untold
pour color and light, a fête
of cupids and Ledas in gold.
That is, silk and honey and sheen.
that is, boon and quiver and call.
that is, all that lives to be free,
needing no words at all.

tr. by Alan Shaw

There will be a reading/tribute to Regina on Feb. 7 in London.

Where am I?

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