Bilal Laypanov
Üyge igilik, no. 3 (53), 1997 [RU]


by Bilal Laypanov


Poetry is a kind of art which is maybe the most dependent on its material, the phonemic organization of the language. This live sound, this atmosphere of the language cannot be reproduced in the best translation ever possible. That is why I don't like the word "translation" and prefer to speak of the interpretation of a person's poetry by another person, sometime in another language. Well, even reading verse in one's native language, doesn't one have to translate it into one's own internal language of unique individual variations of sense and feelings? Is it very different from transferring poetry to the world of a different language, or from an artistic interpretation of poetry by the means of the other arts?

These pages present my interpretation of just a few poems by a Karachai poet Bilal Laypanov. Of his many hundreds of lines, I have chosen those that are nearer to my own attitude to the world—this is what I could maybe have said myself sometime. The reader can notice that the verse collected here is never ethnically colored—it might as well be written in any other language of the Earth, or even in the language of an extraterrestrial dweller. I do not present Bilal Laypanov as a Karachai, but rather as a poet who brings the great universality of the art to all the people.

For comparison, the translations into Russian by an excellent professional interpreter Arcady Tyurin (late) are presented as well. Of course, neither Russian, nor English translation do not convey the phonemic organization of the original—but I hope that these interpretations do reflect its peculiar imagery, and thereby the distinctive features of Bilal Laypanov's way of thought and his personal vision of the world. Thus the universe of Bilal Laypanov's voice becomes open for the millions of readers in Russian and English, beside those reading in the languages cognate to Karachai. As for me, I just tried to be a poet first of all, and to give birth to the self-contained English-sounding poems, which might be thought of as originally written in English and made a part of the English native poetry before they found their expression in Karachai. Now, let the reader judge whether I have succeeded in that.

M e r a ï l i h

* * *

is a lake
with the open eyes.
With my heart,
I drink
its reflections,
with my palm,
I draw
my face
out of its depth.
Nobody knows
how large the lake is,
but, when I sing,
the fires go up
on the opposite side.
I am no god,
to walk over waters
to get there.
But my life is enough
to measure
the universe of my voice.
And then
I will be
a lake
with the open eyes...

* * *

Поэзия — озеро,
Открывшее глаза.
Сердцем пью из него
Ладонью черпаю
Свое лицо
Из глубины.
Велико ли озеро,
Не знаю,
Но, когда пою,
На другом берегу
Огни загораются.
Может, я не пророк,
Чтобы перейти его
Но за всю жизнь
Обойду без посоха
Пространство моего
А там — стану
Озером, открывшим глаза...

Ways of salvation

One could escape
digging into the earth.
But one could just learn to fly.

Пути к спасению

Можно спастись,
Зарывшись в землю,
А можно научиться летать...

* * *

The poet grows
from under the earth,
like a tree.
After the death,
I will be a maple
hailing the ships
of the clouds,
wondering at the lightning,
enjoying the wings
the crystalline heights,
with my boughs cradling
the stars—
I will fall like the tears of dew,
sail through the wind
into the sky
with the centuries-old flight of
the human gaze,
into the infinite sky,
the everlasting sky.

* * *

Поэт растет
Из земли, словно дерево;
И после смерти
Стану тополем
Встречать корабли
Удивляться молниям,
Радоваться крыльям,
Хрустальную высь,
Качать на ветвях
Осыпаться слезами росы,
Плыть сквозь ветер
В то небо,
Куда веками летел
Человеческий взгляд, —
В бесконечное небо,
В бессмертное небо...

* * *

You love
to look in the stars—
I drink the sky
from your eyes.

* * *

Ты любишь
Смотреть в звезды...
Пью небо
Из твоих глаз.

* * *

The poet’s epitaph:
The stars
have drunk all of his soul.

* * *

Надпись на надгробии поэта:
Выпили его душу".

* * *

Never mind the years passing by.
Let them follow their destined way.
In the end, recollecting your life,
Love it all, with its ultimate day.

No one asked if you wanted to come.
No one cares when you are ready to part.
No eternity has ever become,
No eternally pulsating heart.

The day will burn down into the night,
Tired of the vanities of the world.
Come with it, close the door behind,
Leaving the flowers on the threshold.

* * *

Не считай уходящие дни —
Все свершится в положенный срок.
Ты и смерть, как сестру, полюби,
Ведь она — твоей жизни итог.

Не спросясь, ты родился на свет.
Не спросясь, тебя смерть унесет.
В этом мире бессмертия нет,
За приходом быть должен уход.

И, устав от мирской суеты,
Тихо день догорит за спиной...
На пороге оставив цветы,
Молча дверь затвори за собой.

The fallen beauty

The heavens gleaming in the pools of dirt...

Падшая красота

Обломки неба в грязных лужах...

* * *

Night—and his fingers black,
touching your skin so white...
Sleepless I’m lying on my back,
Passion obscures the sight.

Clenching my feelings tight—
but, after everything,
Day—and his hands of light
over your marble skin!

Flower caressed by the sun,
melt in the dark embrace—
I am your only one
Mad of that jealous chase.

* * *

Черные пальцы ночи
По белым твоим плечам...
Страсть застилает мне очи,
Спать не дает по ночам!

И утром — ревности муки,
Вновь мне покоя нет —
Кладет свои белые руки
На плечи твои рассвет!

То солнце тебя ласкает,
То обнимает тьма...
Просто любовь такая
Сводит меня с ума!

About the author

Bilal Laypanov (Laipanlari Bilal).
Born in 1955. After graduating from the M.Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, worked as a journalist, high-school teacher, scientist (humanities). Published many books of poetry, including Collected Poems in 10 volumes. Three volumes of Russian translations appeared in 1993 and were later nominated for a State Prize of Russian Federation.

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