The Train of Life

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The Train of Life  (1923) 
by Marina Tsvetaeva, translated by Wikisource
The Train of Life

There’s always a bayonet, snow, or storm –
Eternally train will take me!
I came where I had to: the dull platform
No sense to repack so lately …

I had not the eyes for people – their bales –
Resurge will my eyes when perish!
It felt much the same: from lodgings stale
To cheapest third-classy carriage!

With lukewarm chops and warmless cheeks …
My soul, I would choose the gutter!
Still better than here, with the filthy reeks
Of everyday greasy clutter:

Hair-curlers, wet wrappers,
Red-heated hair snappers,
(Hair-burning knick-knackers!)
And oilcloth tatters,
Cologne-smelling dappers
Big-happy-family joys
(Like sewing ploys)
‘Where’s the coffee-pot, Royse?’
Pretzels and bed-sills and matrons and bacons
The dreariest chaperones and chaplets

I will not in this bundle of female flesh
Wait for my deathly doom!
I want for the train to be drunk and rash –
Death is no class’s boon!

For prowess, for rashness, for head-smashing crashness!
– How the devils do bother! –
And a God’s pilgrim saying: ‘In Kingdom come …’
I’ll yell, cutting in: ‘I’d rather!’

* * *

A platform. And rail-blocks. A lonely stalk
In grasp of my hand. Let go, now
Too late to hold on. Too tired of talk
I look at the stars from low down

And through the rainbow of planets gone
– Anyone tell how many? –
I look and I see: the doom is done
No sense to repent, not any