Eugene Dubnov

Eugene Dubnov

Eugene Dubnov was born in Tallinn; educated in Moscow and London Universities (Psychology and English Literature); Writer-in-Residence at Carmel College, Oxfordshire (1985-87); Wingate Scholar, London (1990-92).

Two volumes of verse in Russian (London, 1978, 1984); poetry and prose in English translation and written in English published in periodicals in Britain, USA, Canada and elsewhere, as well as in several European, North American, and Australian anthologies; nine short stories broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Work appeared also in German, Spanish and Hebrew translation. THE THOUSAND-YEAR MINUTES, a poetry collection in English, appeared from Shoestring Press (UK) in 2013.

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See how the rivers are halted,
gripped by the ice, and in candour
mountains are standing; below them
see how the forests are weary.

Bring in the logs for the crackling
fire, and pour out the vintage
wine, and be warmed, and the worries
leave to the gods. Once they break up

furious winds and the maddened
spume of the sea, then the beech tree
will be assuaged, and the cypress
cease from its fretting. Be grateful,

boy, for what may be tomorrow,
flee from the search for the future,
do not repudiate love and
dances of summer, while whiteness

is still so far from your boyish
hair, when the fields and sweet calls of
night must be sought at the trysting
hour, in the time of the hasty

youthful embraces, of running,
laughing and teasing and hiding,
pour into life to the brim ful-
filment and relish of love.

(New Quarterly VIII-1, Country Life, December 22, 1983)


Where did I come from, who were my forebears, with what
cults of household gods, you ask in the name of our friendship.
If you are cognizant, Tullus, of the Perugian sepulchres,
cemeteries of the Italian fields in the time of our troubles,
strife when the townsmen of Rome were tearing the city apart
(for me the ashes of Tuscany bring a particular pain:
there the remains of my neighbour are lying not covered by earth,
there his bones are scattered, desolate under the sky) —
Umbria, contiguous, on the very edge of that plain,
Umbria, rich with its vineyards, gave me my birth.

(Ambit 162, Chicago Review 36-2)

Poetry in this post: © Eugene Dubnov
Published with the permission of Eugene Dubnov