Evgenia Jen Baranova

Ox-eye Daisies

(trans. Sergey Gerasimov)

The Girl in a Gold Kokoshnik by Anvar Saifutdinov

Ox-eye daisies live in me.
Their white petals
are transparent like the flight of dragonflies
young Nabokov used to catch
with a net of crêpe de Chine.
Ox-eye daisies live in me.
Their eyes
look like medlars
licked by the tongue
of a stray rain.
Ox-eye daisies live in me,
they and the aroma
of the hot earth
you can pick up and smell
but can’t take anywhere with you.
There’s so much room in my soul,
so much space for everyone
who’d like to drop in,
Is it because you don’t live in it?


About the writer:
Evgenia Jen Baranova is an author from Russia. Her most recent poems have appeared Poetry Northwest, The Raw Art Review, Persephone’s Daughters, Panoplyzine, Transcend: A Literary Magazine, Triggerfish Critical Review.

About the translator:
Sergey Gerasimov lives in Kharkiv, Ukraine. His writings span the gamut from philosophical poetry to surrealism and tongue-in-cheek fantasy. His stories have appeared in Adbusters, Clarkesworld Magazine, Strange Horizons, and other venues. Also, he is the author of several novels and more than a hundred short stories published mostly in Russian. He is a well-recognized translator of Russian poetry and prose.

Image: The Girl in a Gold Kokoshnik by Anvar Saifutdinov (1963-). Watercolor and gouache on paper. 30 x 40 cm. 2015. By free license.

Original text in Russian:

Во мне живут ромашки. Белый лист
прозрачен, как движенья стрекозы,
которую Набоков-гимназист
всё ловит крепдешиновым сачком.

Во мне живут ромашки. Их глаза
напоминают цветом мушмулу,
которую успеет облизать
дворняга-дождь шершавым языком.

Во мне живут ромашки (турмалин,
румыны, Ромул, Рим) и аромат
горячей горки собранной земли…
Неважно, что с собой не унесёшь.

В моей душе так много (чур-чур-чуть),
почти что жарко, вроде бы простор
для каждого, кто хочет заглянуть.
Не потому ль, что ты в ней не живёшь?