A Deer Hunt, Kristina Kryukova

Craig Goodworth, Deposition (graphite and coffee), 2018

Read in Russian


Read in English




Гой, знаменитый охотник, на лов!
Доезжий, поддергивай шпорами!
Ноги породистых рысаков
Дымятся и бьют подковами.

Вдали, за стеною густых ветвей,
Добычу тебе приготовили.
Охотничий оклик для всех псарей:
– Не выпить нам, други, на крови ли!?

Стая борзых, страшное варево!
Лань не бежит, а стоит пред тобой!
Только вот с ней олененок палевый
Окровавленный, полуживой….

Бархатным взглядом, не знавшим гнева,
Молит она в порыве гОря:
– Лучше меня отправьте на небо,
Но не дитя моё дорогое…

Лежит на поляне убитая мать,
Заслоняя ребенка от прочих,
Мне никогда, никогда не принять
Ваших законов волчьих!!


A Deer Hunt

(Translated by Sergey Gerasimov from Russian)


Hey, famous hunter, it’s time to hunt!
The whipper-in, spur your horse!
Thoroughbred trotters kick their hoofs,
Their legs smoke.
Far away, behind the wall of thick branches
Your prey waits for you.
The hunting call for all huntsmen is,
“Let’s drink, my friends, and feast on blood!”
A pack of wolfhounds is a terrible brew!
The doe isn’t running, just standing before you.
Blood-speckled, barely alive,
Her pale-yellow fawn is with her.
Her velvet stare, which knows no anger,
pleads to you, in woe,
“Send me to heaven,
But spare my dear child…”
The slaughtered mother lies on the glade,
Shielding her child with her body
No, I’ll never, never accept
The cutthroat laws of your world!!

Kristina Kryukova


Review by Jared Pearce

While the sentiment of most of this poem sits a bit thick (the hunters’ attitudes and barbary, and the innocent purity of the deer), the ending is where the real action is: the doe’s refusal, especially at the end, to comply with the world’s, the hunters’, perspective and justification is what draws me.


Review by Mary Giudice

Wow, this has such frenzied energy. It’s full of exclaimed imperatives, violence, and resistance. When I think of this poem it is all about war, but when I look at the words I see the consistent narrative of the deer hunt. The effect is that this poem has an invisible doppelganger poem and I can only read both at once. It’s chilling;  it feels like a cry of outrage on behalf of every “slaughtered  mother” who has shielded her child with her body since the beginning of history. But since the animal can plead only with a “velvet stare, which knows no anger” the poet has taken up her pleas with words. I wish I could read the Russian.

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