Towards the end of July I worked on some poetry again– something which is now often neglected since I’ve been working so much. But at the time I was feeling very inspired, and I came up with what I hope are some decent poems. This is one of them, and it’s quite a departure from my usual strictly metred rhyming poetry. With Someday (as with many of my other poems), I was writing with the voice of a Red Army soldier; but through this poem’s nonexistent rhymes and differing metre I wanted to make it sound as if it had been written originally in Russian and translated to its current English form. The inspiration for doing this came mainly from Alexander Tvardovsky’s poem I was Killed near Rzhev. His poem is amazingly expressive even in English, and as a poem it works even after translation. I hope I created what I set out to create with Someday, and I hope you enjoy it.
Someday I shall look across these fields and see
Machines of war rusted and thrown away
They shall be the corpses
Which number in millions from here to the Dnepr
Instead of my brothers,
Who populate the Soviet graveyard now.
Someday I shall hear the birds remembered from childhood
And not the screaming rockets and screaming men
Which haunt me ceaselessly
There will be no sound of sadness, save for
The mothers who endure
And mourn in the dawn their children bought.
Someday the only loss will be whatever we wish to recall
And we will be rich, not hungry
Like the listless prisoners
Whom I cannot number, but only imagine
In the western expanses
Which remain ours, though inhabited by the Hun.
Someday we will be able to smile again, with dry eyes
And the only scars will be wrinkles on our faces
Scars that will never
Grace the faces of the dead, who forever
Will stay silent and young
And scattered like dust across all of Russia.
Someday we will see the morning, instead of only night
There will be sun on our land, instead of dark grey
Some of us will live
To see this day, and some of us will die for it
And my only question is
When will someday be today?