The Russian Poets Fund is a London-based charity that brings the best of Russian poets and translators to the UK for meetings with members of the general public and academia.

  • Russian Poets Fund

Ученицы музыкальной школы,
мы звонили друг другу,
клали трубку на пюпитр,
играли разученные пьесы.

Трубка падала на пол,
следом падали ноты,
родители бесновались:
Сантехник не дозвонится!

А мы всё равно играли,
с ошибками, с грязной педалью,
хихикая и чертыхаясь.

В этом не было упрямства.
Просто прекрасную музыку
невозможно вынести в одиночку.

Girl-students of the school of music,
we would call each other on the phone,
put the receiver on the piano, and play
the pieces we had just learned.

The receiver would tumble to the floor,
followed by music sheets,
the parents would be raging:
People cannot get through!

But we would go on playing,
making mistakes, overdoing the pedal,
giggling and cursing.

We did that not out of stubbornness,
but because you simply cannot stay
one-on-one with beautiful music.

Translator: Steven Seymour