Evgenia Jen Baranova


(trans. Sergey Gerasimov)

Three Philosophers by Anvar Saifutdinov

Winter people are colorful
like flowerbeds.
They don’t just walk, but zigzag and rumba,
but there’s no dance in their chilly breezing.
Winter women arch their backs,
someone with a knapsack, someone else
with a bag of cat’s food,
hurrying along somewhere.
Winter girls keep winter lanes warm,
and signs of the epoch shine above their heads.
A winter dog,with the air of an expert,
dips its paw into the frosty whiteness
like into profitable business.
You can see neither corals
nor boats with marlins,
andonly feel the coldness
of these winter days,
when your heels slide, exposing the loamy soil.
…I’m not good at telling winter tales.


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: Three Philosophers by Anvar Saifutdinov (1963-). Watercolor and gouache on paper. 30 x 40 cm. 2015. By free license.

Original text in Russian:


Зимние люди похожи на клумбы.
Ходят зигзагом, и ромбом, и румба

в мёрзлом дыхании не ощутима.
Зимних гражданок топорщатся спины.

Кто-то – с котомкой, а кто-то – с кошачьим
кормом несётся вослед подлежащим.

Зимние девочки греют аллеи,
знаки эпохи над ними алеют.

Пёс понимает – в морозную известь
лапу макает, как в прибыльный бизнес.

Нет ни кораллов, ни лодки с марлином.
Есть только холодность дней этих длинных,

да каблуки обнажают суглинок.