Частушки («О чем молчишь ты...») 1982
Translated by Tanya Wolfson ©


Now sweetheart, why so downcast?
Don't keep staring at the ground.
Won't you tell me something, fast,
And I'll hang on to every sound:
Words are so skilled and variable,
Some beautiful, some terrible,
Some very wrong, some very strong..
But here a cat got every tongue.
Countless indeed are human words,
They sneak up on you with admonishments,
They're often posthumous rewards,
And always lifelong punishments.
But without them hearts dry up like chalk,
Hearts crumble, hearts can't do without..
And once again we try to talk,
And once again wrong words come out.
No matter what I'm thinking,
No matter why I part my lips,
I get a default "thank you",
And with it a generic "please".
Meanwhile the eyes are growing wet,
Meanwhile the heart is growing dry,
No screams, no whispers.. You're upset,
No wonder, is it, sweetiepie?
Haven't you had it up to here
With the yakking and the hollering?
And all the world's a stage while we're
Just watching from the peanut gallery.
And already from that stage, some fool
Made my own words go up the flue,
How I love you, my priceless jewel,
How I am mad with love for you...