Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Maria Stepanova

Carmen

They still allow us to smoke in the office,
They get it: this kind of work, you have to smoke,
They run after one as he’s walking: hey, commander,
The second from the table raises his eyes to the door,
The second one from the trial raises his eyes to a hook,
There the lamp’s swaying back and forth, Svetlana, what’ll I say
When the earth quakes, and the ground opens its mouth,
And the arrested earn their execution?

The third one stands up, decorated, and he has everything,
But they’ve called him, and he goes.
“Look for me at dawn”, he said to his comrades,
As if he and they are he and someone else
Who’s alone, like Job, and waits for him like for a storm.

What’s that blue sign on his arm, sister?
That’s a powerful sign on his arm, girlfriend.

There it sort of says: beloved,
My darling, take care of yourself, don’t use in front of everyone,
Give your parents a call, take time off on Wednesday,
If you don’t take it – try to behave yourself,
And if there’s anything call, if there’s anything call for me.

Carmen

Op het bureau mag nog wel worden gerookt,
Met zulk werk, weten ze, moet er ook worden gerookt,
Eentje wordt ingehaald: hé, commandant,
De tweede kijkt van de tafel op naar de deur,
De tweede kijkt van de rechtbank op naar de haak,
Daar schommelt de lamp, Svetlana, wat zeg ik straks
Wanneer de aarde schudt en de bodem gaapt
En de arrestanten hameren op de wand?

De derde staat op, compleet met zijn staat van dienst,
Maar ja, ze riepen hem dus hij gaat.
“Verwacht me bij dageraad”, zegt hij zijn kameraden,
Net of hij en zij hij en iemand anders zijn,
Een Job die alleen is en hem als een storm verwacht.

Zuster, wat is dat blauwe teken daar op zijn arm,
Dat is het powerteken daar op zijn arm, vriendin.

Er staat iets in de trant van: liefste,
Mijn liefste, pas op jezelf, weiger als iemand kijkt,
Bel onze ouders op, neem op woensdag vrij,
Als je geen vrij wilt nemen dan braaf zijn, hè,
En roep me als er wat is, roep me als er wat is.

Кармен

В отделении нам еще разрешают курить,
Понимают: работа такая, надо курить,
Одного на ходу догоняют: эй, командир,
Второй от стола поднимает глаза на дверь,
Второй от суда поднимает глаза на крюк,
Там лампа туда-сюда, Светлана, что я скажу,
Когда сотрясется земля, и почва разинет рот,
И арестованные заколотят в стенку?

Третий встает, у него заслуги, и все при нем,
Но позвали, и он идет.
«Жди меня на рассвете», - он говорит товарищам,
Будто он и они это он и кто-то другой,
Кто один как Иов и ждет его, словно бури.

Что за синий знак на руке у него, сестра?
Это сильный знак на руке у него, подруга.

Там написано как-то так: любимый,
Мой любимый, ты, береги себя, не бери при всех,
Позвони родителям, в среду возьми отгул,
Не возьмешь – постарайся вести себя хорошо
И зови, если что, зови меня, если что.
Close

Carmen

They still allow us to smoke in the office,
They get it: this kind of work, you have to smoke,
They run after one as he’s walking: hey, commander,
The second from the table raises his eyes to the door,
The second one from the trial raises his eyes to a hook,
There the lamp’s swaying back and forth, Svetlana, what’ll I say
When the earth quakes, and the ground opens its mouth,
And the arrested earn their execution?

The third one stands up, decorated, and he has everything,
But they’ve called him, and he goes.
“Look for me at dawn”, he said to his comrades,
As if he and they are he and someone else
Who’s alone, like Job, and waits for him like for a storm.

What’s that blue sign on his arm, sister?
That’s a powerful sign on his arm, girlfriend.

There it sort of says: beloved,
My darling, take care of yourself, don’t use in front of everyone,
Give your parents a call, take time off on Wednesday,
If you don’t take it – try to behave yourself,
And if there’s anything call, if there’s anything call for me.

Carmen

They still allow us to smoke in the office,
They get it: this kind of work, you have to smoke,
They run after one as he’s walking: hey, commander,
The second from the table raises his eyes to the door,
The second one from the trial raises his eyes to a hook,
There the lamp’s swaying back and forth, Svetlana, what’ll I say
When the earth quakes, and the ground opens its mouth,
And the arrested earn their execution?

The third one stands up, decorated, and he has everything,
But they’ve called him, and he goes.
“Look for me at dawn”, he said to his comrades,
As if he and they are he and someone else
Who’s alone, like Job, and waits for him like for a storm.

What’s that blue sign on his arm, sister?
That’s a powerful sign on his arm, girlfriend.

There it sort of says: beloved,
My darling, take care of yourself, don’t use in front of everyone,
Give your parents a call, take time off on Wednesday,
If you don’t take it – try to behave yourself,
And if there’s anything call, if there’s anything call for me.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère