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David Samoilov on the cover of his memoir book Sifting through the dates of our life

David Samoylov (Russian: Давид Самойлов), pseudonym of David Samuilovich Kaufman (Russian: Давид Самуилович Кауфман; 1 June 1920 in Moscow — 23 February 1990 in Tallinn). He is a notable poet of War generation of Russian poets, and considered one of the most important Russian poets of the post-World War II era.

Vers libre

    I grew up in accordance
    with time.
    In my childhood I was a child.
    In my youth a youth.
    In adulthood an adult.
    Thus, during the thirties
    I loved the thirties, 
    And in the forties
    I loved the forties.
    And when according to the
    law of nature
    the time started to denote
    a descent from the hill,
    I didn't begin to hate it,
    but to understand.
    In the sixties
    I understood the sixties.
    And now I understand
    all that happens,
    and what shall happen 
    as a result of what is happening.
    And I know what will happen
    to me,
    when there comes a time that would belong to someone else.
    And I have no fear.
    David Samoylov (ca. 1990)
    Translated by Roman Turovsky (ca.2003)

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