Monday, May 16, 2011

First Meetings: A Poem by Arseniy Tarkovsky

Every moment that we were together
Was a celebration, like Epiphany,
In all the world the two of us alone.
You were bolder, lighter than a bird's wing,
Heady as vertigo you ran downstairs
Two steps at a time, and led me
Through damp lilac, into your domain
On the other side, beyond the mirror.




When night came I was granted favour,
The gates before the altar opened wide
And in the dark our nakedness was radiant
As slowly it inclined. And waking
I would say, 'Blessings upon you!'
And knew my benediction was presumptuous:
You slept, the lilac stretched out from the table
To touch your eyelids with a universe of blue,
And you received the touch upon your eyelids
And they were still, and still your hand was warm.

Vibrant rivers lay inside the crystal,
Mountains loomed through mist, seas foamed,
And you held a crystal sphere in your hands,
Seated on a throne as still you slept,
And—God in heaven!—you belonged to me.

You awoke and you transfigured
The words that people' utter every day,
And speech was filled to overflowing
With ringing power, and the word 'you'
Discovered its new purport: it meant 'king.
Ordinary objects were at once transfigured,
Everything—the jug, the basin—when
Placed between us like a sentinel
Stood water, laminary and firm.
We were led, not knowing whither,
Like mirages before us there receded
Cities built by miracle,
Wild mint was laying itself beneath our feet,
Birds travelling by the same route as ourselves,
And in the river fishes swam upstream;
And the sky unrolled itself before our eyes.
When fate was following in our tracks
Like a madman with a razor in his hand."

Arseniy Tarkovsky (tarkovsky's father)
(Translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair)
Quoted by Andre Tharkovsky in Sculpting in Time, p.100

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