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Wait for me (translation of Konstantin Simonov)

April 2, 2011

Wait for me, and I’ll return,
Wait, and I will come.
Wait when heavy yellow rains
Try to bring you down.

Wait through summer’s wasting heat,
Wait through falling snow,
Wait when others still repeat
Not to stay alone.

Wait with hope when letters stop,
Strong and tough just be…
Turn away from those who’re stern,
From their grief stay free.

Wait for me, and I’ll return
No illusions..Try
To escape the ones who mourn,
Keep away your heart.

Let my son and mother cry
And believe I am dead.
And ignore friends’ tears around
When weak hope is spent.

Bitter wine they’ll drink..Forget,
Their compassion, too.
Wait for me, believe instead..
Pray and smile once more.

Wait for me, and I’ll return.
I will go through flame.
I’ll be back to you, I’ll burn
Any threat’s disgrace.

They will never understand
How among the fire
Out of lethal empty space
I have come alive.

Only you and I will know why
I am at home again..
Why you’ve learned to wait in time
Like nobody has.

(Konstantin Simonov, 1941)



©Yelena S.

The original

This poem was written and dedicated to V.Serova by Konstantin Simonov (1915-1979) in 1941. During the Great Patriotic War Simonov was a frontline correspondent for the newspaper ‘Krasnaya Zvezda'(‘Red Star’) . It was published in the newspaper ‘Pravda’ in February 1942, when the nazi forces were repulsed from Moscow. Soldiers cut it out of newspapers, copied it as they sat in their dugouts, learned it by heart and sent it in letters to their wives and sweethearts. It was found in the breast pockets of the wounded and the dead. Other frontline poems of Simonov were also tremendously popular.


From → Simonov

  1. “Zhdi menya i ya vernus’…” Lovely translation, Yelena. Any Akhmadulina? Love her!

  2. Zeljka permalink

    Thank you for this lovely English version!
    Here’s my translation in French:

    Kindest regards!

  3. Lovely version, thank you so much!
    I’m sharing my French translation with pleasure:

    Kindest regards,
    Zeljka Jankovic

    • Zeljka, sorry for the late answer, i haven’t seen your comment in notifications, thank you so much for appreciation and sharing your French version! i understand French a bit and it’s beautiful. merci 🙂

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