blank verse

The Winter Tremble

blank verse by Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898),  my translation


Always slow, among flowers and deities, the clock striking thirteen. Who previously owned this Saxon clock? Picture them bringing it from Saxony by those old slow stagecoaches.

(Weird shadows looming over the old windowpanes.)

Who did ever look at oneself in the Venetian mirror, deep like a cold spring, enclosed in the snaky framing with the faded gilding? Surely, more than one woman used to sink the sin of her beauty in the stream of this spring and if I stayed peering for a long while I could see>The Winter Tremble

blank verse by Stéphane Mallarmé a naked phantom.

“Nasty, you can be so caustic…”

(The cobweb above the big windows.)

Our wardrobe trunk is very old too. Look how the glum woodwork shows purple in this lighting. Time has left traces on the faded curtains, on the embroidery of the chairs with the faded ruddy varnish, and the yellowish etchings on the walls, on all our old things. Don’t you think that even the Bengalee finches and blue bird are somewhat time-faded?

(Don’t think of the cobweb that trembles above the big windows.)

You love all this, that’s why I can live beside you. Didn’t you wish — oh my sister whose eye turned to the Past — the words “charm of all withering” to sound in one of my cantos? You detest new things. They frighten you with their meretricious harshness, making you feel like obliterating their counters and colours — which is so difficult to those who are tired by every motion.

Close the old German Almanach, which you read so attentively, though it is published more than a hundred years ago and the enumerated lords are no more. Lying on the ancient carpet with my head on the faded cloth that covers your lap, oh quiet child, I shall be talking long! No fields around; the streets have got empty; I shall talk about our furniture… What are you thinking about?

(The cobweb trembling above the big windows.)

Photo of painting by Julius Sergius von Klever (1850-1924)
Painting by Julius Sergius von Klever (1850-1924)


poem in my translation

The Butterfly

by Afanasy Fet (1820-1892)


You’re right. An outline of Air

I am so sweet.

My velvet with its living blinking–

only two wings.

Don’t ask me whence, what brought me,

where I speed.

I light the flower down, here,

and now I breathe.

How long, so aimless, so effortless,

I want to breathe?

That’s it now, flashing, raising wings

I fly away.



Dark night has choked daylight. Day is dead.
It won’t come back to senses any more.
You killed the time again. You must be mad
To waste the only treasure you afford.

Time is for living not for false alarm
About future and the outcome
Of the events that are not bringing harm
Just now. So my old chum

There’s twink anon, so value twink
The future hell is not existing now
And it depends on what you feel and think
Will it take shape or just drop out.


I started the poem in one mood (first 4 lines). Then without any pause my mood changed and I just recorded the remaining part. The result was quite surprise to me. I have not changed a word and now submit this poem to your judgement…

Mongol Yurt, a door never locked

An always open door
In a silver night
The sky is crowded with stars.
Green waves are surging and soaring
In the forest of wind

An open door is white like Mongolian yurts,
Is inlaid with blue sky and clouds.
Nomads are never lost,
They don’t like the tears of city people
Translated by Anthony Rudolf with the author

*Hadaa Sendoo is a multi-award winning poet from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
He is founder and leading figure of the World Poetry Almanac.