Хорошо 1.1: Chuvash Folk Songs

English version by Valery Petrovskiy

after Russian translation by Alexei Prokopyev. 


Requiems (2)

1/ Eh, the miserable wide world –

There is the only sun, and the only moon.

There is at least some of the wide world around!

Eh, the miserable other world—

There are seven suns, and there are seven moons there,

But no light.


2/ One never sees rye shoots sown in autumn before the spring.

You wouldn’t see them earlier than the next spring.

Oh, my dear, I say, I would never see you before I die.

Before I die myself I wouldn’t see you, I say.

Recruit Song

Fly, swan, fly,

Fly, swan, fly –

To alight in China fields, a swan.

In China fields wheat looks white.

There is white wheat in China fields –

God severs us, He wouldn’t take pity on us.

Christmas Songs (2)

1/When one goes to the fields, no women to see there,

When one comes home, no men to meet there.

When one peeps in an oven, no meal is there.

One’s life slips by, no happiness to find.

They say, Suhrkhuri* never comes to an end,

Suhrkhuri comes and leaves again,

Life elapses – Suhrkhuri comes back.

Life passes – Suhrkhuri doesn’t pass.

*Suhrkhuri – Christmas


2/Shankar-shankar – a streamlet streams down,

Shankar-shankar – a streamlet streams down,

Shankar-shankar – a starling sips some water.

It’s not concern of yours, tench,

You have no business, tench,

If it’s not a bother for the starling to sip water there.

That’s no affair for others,

That’s no affair for others,

If we have a heart-to-heart talk with you here.

Published by tmdevos

BIO: T.M. De Vos is the author of Cimmeria (Červena Barvá Press, 2016); a 2015 Sozopol Fiction Seminars fellow; and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Gloom Cupboard. Her work has appeared previously in Embark Literary Journal, MockingHeart Review, Vagabond, Folder Magazine, concīs, Juked, Pacific Review, burntdistrict, HOBART, and the Los Angeles Review. De Vos is the recipient of fellowships from Murphy Writing Seminars, Summer Literary Seminars, and the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library. She recently completed her first novel.

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