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RT.com / RT projects / Russiapedia / Compass Award literary contest

COMPASS AWARD

Literary contest from RT partners

The International Translation Contest held under the
auspices of the Cardinal Points Journal www.stosvet.net
was dedicated this year to the poetry of Nikolay Gumilev.
The Contest ran from April 15, which is the poet’s birthday,
through September 15, 2011.

Russiapedia, a cultural project of RT TV, was the partner 
of the Compass Award Contest.

The Contest welcomed competitors from Australia,
Great Britain, New Zealand, Russia and the US.

The First Prize (the Compass) and
$250 went to Boris Dralyuk (Berkeley, USA)

The Second Prize and $100 went
to Alyssa Gillespie (Notre Dame, USA)

The Third Prize and $50 went
to Fyodor Manin (Chicago, USA)
                                
Nikolay Gumilev April 15, 1886 – August 24, 1921

The winning translations will be published in the Cardinal Points Journal.

The shortlist also included Larisa Shmailo (USA), Yakov Smagarinsky (Australia), and Dina Guseynova (USA).

The official Compass Awards Ceremony and the reading of the winning translations took place in New York’s famous Bowery Poetry Club on October 30, 2011 (http://www.bowerypoetry.com/).

The Gumilev Contest is part of the First International Gumilev Festival.

The topics and requirements for the Compass Award-2012 will be announced on the Contest’s web page in December 2011.

Here are the prize-winning entries:

1

FIRST PRIZE

Boris Dralyuk, Berkeley, CA, USA

***

Еще не раз Вы вспомните меня
И весь мой мир, волнующий и странный,
Нелепый мир из песен и огня,
Но меж других единый необманный.
Он мог стать Вашим тоже, и не стал,
Его Вам было мало или много,
Должно быть плохо я стихи писал
И Вас неправедно просил у Бога.
Но каждый раз Вы склонитесь без сил
И скажете: «Я вспоминать не смею,
Ведь мир иной меня обворожил
Простой и грубой прелестью своею».

***

You shall recall me yet, and more than once —
Recall my world, uncommon and exciting:
A clumsy world, fashioned of flame and songs,
But, unlike others, wholly undesigning.
It could have been yours, too, but no. It had
Proven too little, or perhaps too vast.
My verse, it seems, must have been very bad,
My pleading with the Lord for you, unjust.
But every time, drained of your strength, you’ll yield
And utter: “I don’t dare recall those nights.
A different world has fascinated me
With all its simple, unrefined delights.”

2

SECOND PRIZE

Alyssa Gillespie, Notre Dame, IN, USA

Жираф

Сегодня, я вижу, особенно грустен твой взгляд,
И руки особенно тонки, колени обняв.
Послушай: далеко, далеко, на озере Чад
Изысканный бродит жираф.
Ему грациозная стройность и нега дана,
И шкуру его украшает волшебный узор,
С которым равняться осмелится только луна,
Дробясь и качаясь на влаге широких озер.
Вдали он подобен цветным парусам корабля,
И бег его плавен, как радостный птичий полет.
Я знаю, что много чудесного видит земля,
Когда на закате он прячется в мраморный грот.
Я знаю веселые сказки таинственных стран
Про черную деву, про страсть молодого вождя,
Но ты слишком долго вдыхала тяжелый туман,
Ты верить не хочешь во что-нибудь, кроме дождя.
И как я тебе расскажу про тропический сад,
Про стройные пальмы, про запах немыслимых трав...
— Ты плачешь? Послушай... далеко, на озере Чад
Изысканный бродит жираф.

Giraffe

Today I can see that your gaze is especially sad;
Your hands are especially slender, encircling your knees.
But listen to this: far away, far away, near Lake Chad
A giraffe paces elegantly.
A figure of grace and a lifetime of bliss are his boon,
And a magical pattern adorns his magnificent hide,
Which no one would dare to compare with except for the moon
As it glitters and sways on the lakes that are misty and wide.
From afar he might look like a ship’s billowed sails painted bright,
And his gait is as smooth as the jubilant winging of birds.
I know the earth witnesses many a marvelous sight,
When at sunset he hides in the grotto of marble unheard.
I know the gay tales of mysterious realms, and the songs
Of an African maiden, of a young baron’s passion and pain;
But you have been breathing this slumberous fog much too long,
You will not believe, not in anything, save for the rain.
So how can I tell you my tales of that tropical land,
The slim, bending palm trees, the scent of unthinkable green?...
— You weep? Well, then listen to this... far away, near Lake Chad
A giraffe paces elegantly.

3

THIRD PRIZE

Fyodor Manin, Chicago, Il, USA

Жираф

Сегодня, я вижу, особенно грустен твой взгляд,
И руки особенно тонки, колени обняв.
Послушай: далеко, далеко, на озере Чад
Изысканный бродит жираф.
Ему грациозная стройность и нега дана,
И шкуру его украшает волшебный узор,
С которым равняться осмелится только луна,
Дробясь и качаясь на влаге широких озер.
Вдали он подобен цветным парусам корабля,
И бег его плавен, как радостный птичий полет.
Я знаю, что много чудесного видит земля,
Когда на закате он прячется в мраморный грот.
Я знаю веселые сказки таинственных стран
Про черную деву, про страсть молодого вождя,
Но ты слишком долго вдыхала тяжелый туман,
Ты верить не хочешь во что-нибудь, кроме дождя.
И как я тебе расскажу про тропический сад,
Про стройные пальмы, про запах немыслимых трав...
— Ты плачешь? Послушай... далеко, на озере Чад
Изысканный бродит жираф.

Giraffe

This evening the look in your eyes is especially sad,
And your arms are especially vine-like entwining your calf.
So listen to me: far away, on the shores of Lake Chad
There roams an exquisite giraffe.
He is gracefully slender and gifted with bliss from within,
And none on the Earth dares to equal him, only the moon
Will stencil the magical patterns that cover his skin
As it shatters and floats on the mists of a spacious lagoon.
From afar he resembles a caravel’s colorful sails,
And his canter is smooth like exuberant avian flight.
I know that the earth holds a hundred miraculous tales
Of when he retires to a grotto of marble at night.
I know merry tales from mysterious lands, and a song
Of a maiden’s dark cheeks, with a chieftain’s desires for refrain,
But you have inhaled the dank lead of the fog for too long,
You will not believe any sound but the patter of rain.
And how will I tell you of tropical gardens all clad
In vines, slender palms, pungent grasses the wind bends in half?
You’re crying? But listen to me... far away, on Lake Chad
There roams an exquisite giraffe.