The translations of Alexander Korotko’s works into English by native speakers


The history of translations of Alexander Korotko's poetry began in 2005, when his bilingual book (in Russian and English) “Both Sides of Love” was published for the first time, translated from the original language by Richard McCain (1947 - 2016), who studied Russian language and literature at Oxford, translator of world poetry, including Russian poetry of the Silver Age (Gumilyov, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Mandelstam); for many years he was co-chairman of the Pushkin Club in London.


In 2019, a poetry edition in English "Irrazionalismo" (Ireland, Dublin) was published in the translation of Anatoly Kudryavitsky, a poet, translator, publisher who has lived and is engaged in literary and publishing activities in Ireland for many years, writes in English, so it is quite possible ranked as native speakers. He is a representative of the surrealist movement in modern poetry. Even before the book was published, Anatoly Kudryavitsky published three poems of Alexander Korotko, translated by him, in SurVision Magazine, an international online magazine dedicated exclusively to surrealist poetry in English, and only then published a collection of selected poetry.

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Уходят Да и Нет

двугорбого верблюда,

и слышится змеи

шипящее: Зачем?


A double-humped camel –

his Yes and No go away;

now we can hear a snake’s

hiss:  Why?


Recently, Alexander Korotko has been actively collaborating with two professional translators - Hilary Shears and Michael Pursglove, both of whom are British poets.

Hilary Shears is known for her poetic translations. She translated into English the manuscript of the selected poetry of Alexander Korotko, four poems, a collection of civil poetry "In memory of the mausoleum", wrote the foreword to the manuscript of poems and, on her own initiative, translated almost all the main texts to the English version of the site

Korotko addressed Hilari Shears with the following words: “The life-giving force of the meeting without meetings for days, months, years, as a separate substance of inspiration, like a fireball of energy that does not kill, but revives, which transforms your language into the language of world domination of understanding , arises in that great and crowded space of loneliness, when time does not stop, does not run, but brings closer the co-authorship of the poet and the poet-translator. But for this to begin and develop, a person is needed who will take these two bare wires and connect them, not afraid to burn in the fire of different, but so close in spirit potentials... I want to express my deep gratitude to Hilary Shears for numerous translations of my poetry ... "

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Караульная служба бедна,

в клетке мёртвый живёт попугай,

выпиваю с улыбкой до дна

моих будней заплёванный рай.

Непогода давно за окном,

а меня всё куда-то влечёт.

Из стакана с разбитым дном

пустота через край течёт.

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Guard duty’s what you get for sin,

dead parrots held in cages,

I drain the glass with rueful grin

at paradise with spit for wages.

Outside it’s foul, it’s better in

and has been so for ages.

Emptiness flows out past the brim

of glass cracked by life’s rough pages.


In a short period of time, Michael Pursglove also carried out a truly titanic job of translating not only poetry, but also the prose of Alexander Korotko. Michael's impeccable knowledge of the Russian language and the coincidence of the opinions of the translator and the author in relation to the translation, which should be as close as possible to the original, to the artist's intention, led to an excellent result.Translating poems, verses, one-line, prose, Michael Pursglove discussed with the author the smallest details, made corrections, positively responding to comments, and Alexander Korotko's manuscripts each time acquired the ideal form for future publication.Michael Purslove's professionalism is based on his excellent education. Recently he sent to Alexander two documents not so much to confirm his status as guided by the movement of the soul. According to Michael, in our time, when the world is gripped by a pandemic and the irreparable can happen to any person, he would like the poet Korotko to "know who he is working with." It is humanly understandable and touching step. In response, Alexander wrote in blank verse and published in social networks a dedication to the translation master and a wonderful person.


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За текстами, за кулисами событий  и автор, и переводчик,

каждый в своей стране-гримёрке, готовится выйти

на сцену жизни, не знающей ни жалости, ни пощады.

Ночь накануне премьеры заклеена афишами сновидений.

В зрительном зале осени аншлаг ароматов прелой

листвы, и ветер перелистывает страницу за страницей

недописанные главы, и строчки, как перелётные птицы,

улетают в тёплые края, оставляя чистые листы эмоций.