I am Goya

July 2, 2006 at 3:59 am 7 comments

Andrey Voznesensky

Listen


I am Goya
of the bare field, by the enemy’s beak gouged
till the craters of my eyes gape
I am grief

I am the tongue
of war, the embers of cities
on the snows of the year 1941
I am hunger

I am the gullet
of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
tolled over a blank square
I am Goya

O grapes of wrath!
I have hurled westward
the ashes of the uninvited guest!
and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky – like nails
I am Goya

(translated from the Russian by Stanley Kunitz)

A poem that captures so well the darkness and violence of Goya’s vision, marrying it to images from the Second World War.

[falstaff]

The original in Russian (we think! hat-tip Black Mamba)

Я – Гойя!
Глазницы воронок мне выклевал ворон,
слетая на поле нагое.

Я – Горе.

Я – голос
Войны, городов головни
на снегу сорок первого года.

Я – Голод.

Я – горло
Повешенной бабы, чье тело, как колокол,
било над площадью голой…

Я – Гойя!

О, грозди
Возмездья! Взвил залпом на Запад -
я пепел незваного гостя!
И в мемориальное небо вбил крепкие звезды -
Как гвозди.

Я – Гойя.

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Entry filed under: Andrey Voznesensky, Art and Painting, Falstaff, Russian, Stanley Kunitz. Tags: .

The Scream My Last Duchess

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. shoefiend  |  July 5, 2006 at 11:47 am

    ‘I am the gullet
    of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
    tolled over a blank square’

    I can’t get the image out of my head. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  • 2. Falstaff  |  July 5, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    shoefiend: Yes, glorious isn’t it?

    Also, wow! I really am bringing light and sweetness into your life these days aren’t I? Is this why you’re going around murdering husbands over their evening meal?

    Reply
  • 3. shoefiend  |  July 6, 2006 at 9:29 am

    Yes. It’s all your fault oh Dark Lord :P You know you should change your name from Falstaff to Morgol or something similarly eveil sounding.

    Reply
  • 4. shoefiend  |  July 6, 2006 at 9:30 am

    Yes. It’s all your fault oh Dark Lord :P You know you should change your name from Falstaff to Morgol or something similarly evil sounding.

    By the way when I tried to post this comment your blog said ‘slow down cowboy’ or something to that effect

    Reply
  • 5. Falstaff  |  July 6, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    :-). Actually, there was a brief time back in college when I went around calling myself Gothmog, Lord of the Valaraukor (or, as you humans call them in your tongue – Balrogs). Ah, the good old days.

    Reply
  • 6. sojournerstrange  |  January 20, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Who did the reading>

    Reply
  • [...] end Whitehead is left in his editing suite, haunted by his own images, with the sounds of ”I Am Goya“, a Russian poem of embodied suffering by Andrey Voznesensky, playing untranslated on the [...]

    Reply

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