by Andrei Voznesensky
Fate is above me. Why should I browse?
Sleeping in dosses, an outcast, I rove.
Grief is a cellar,
that opens in every old house.
A ditch is below me and fate is above.
What did I want? Well, a life of contentment.
What did I get? Just a coffin and wreath...
Under the cradle a grave has been latent.
Fate is above me, a ditch is beneath.
Up in the sky my soul, like a hound,
the trigger to pull it was keen.
Fate has come over my family background,
and on the earth where fate is my kin.
What have I done, apart from the simple
poems I've written in passing to date?
I've been a lightening conductor for people.
Now I have broken my back. Such is fate.
© Alec Vagapov's translation