Books for Everyone!

November 2021


Boris Pasternak

translated by Andrey Kneller

Venice Reading

So early that it hadn’t dawned,

The ringing windowpanes awoke me.

A moistened pretzel made of stone,

Beneath me Venice floated calmly.

Now all was calm, but all the while,

While still asleep I heard a cry

And like a monk that had been silenced,

It still disturbed the morning sky.

The Scorpio’s trident, there it dangled

Above the mandolins, Perchance,

Somewhere afar, a woman angered

Had voiced the call in her defense.

Now it was hushed and in the skyline

As though a pitchfork it got stuck,

The Grand Canal with nervous smiles,

Much like a fugitive, gazed back.

And rushing, hungry and stretched out,

The jaded waves already neared.

The gondolas beat, tightly bound,

And honed their noses on the pier.

Beyond the docks of boats, from visions

Of dreams, reality was raised

And Venice, like a true venetian

Was diving off the bank with grace.