The following interview of Boris Dralyuk by Lois P. Jones originally aired on KPFK Los Angeles (reproduced with permission).
Biographical Information—Boris Dralyuk
Boris Dralyuk is a literary translator and the Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA. His work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, London Review of Books, The Guardian, and other publications. His translations from Russian include Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry (Pushkin Press, 2015) and Odessa Stories (Pushkin Press, 2016). He is the editor of 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution (Pushkin Press, 2016), and co-editor, with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski, of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015). His website is bdralyuk.wordpress.com
by Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941)
Night.—Northeaster.—Roar of soldiers.—Roar of waves.
Wine cellars raided.—Down every street,
every gutter—a flood, a precious flood,
and in it, dancing, a moon the colour of blood.
Tall poplars stand dazed.
Birds sing all night—crazed.
A tsar’s statue—razed,
black night in its place.
Barracks and harbour drink, drink.
The world and its wine—ours!
The town stamps about like a bull,
swills from the turbid puddles.
The moon in a cloud of wine.—Who’s that? Stop!
Be my comrade, sweetheart: drink up!
Merry stories go round:
Deep in wine—a couple has drowned.
Feodosia, the last days of October 1917
—Translated by Boris Dralyuk. From 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution, edited by Boris Dralyuk (Pushkin Press, 2016).