The Yellow Orb, Anastasia Ananasova

Charles Hood, Dead_Orange


Жёлтый шар:


Audio in English, voice actor NePoEt_ptz:



Жёлтый шар

В небе над Петербургом
Загадочный жёлтый шар.
Как лампа хирурга.
Кувшинка в небесной ряске.
Кто-то опять приказал глубже дышать
И чувствовать осень как ноту в распетых связках.

Расстёгиваешь пальто, чтоб принять на грудь
Двойную дозу тепла вместе с пряным латте.
Кофейный ларёк, похожий на мятый груздь,
Кажется милым и не таким уж мятым.

Дёрнув наушник, словно из грядки сныть,
Прыгаешь в листья и слушаешь, как шуршит.
Да тут даже Гамлет возьмёт и выберет быть,
Заведёт кота, а может быть, двух шиншилл.

Заведу будильник, стоически встану в семь,
Сердитым старушкам в метро придержу двери…
Город сер. Шар, ты ж не насовсем?
Ты же вернёшься? Эх, гад. А я так в тебя верил.


The Yellow Orb

(Translated by Sergey Gerasimov from Russian)

The enigmatic yellow orb
in the sky above Petersburg
looks like a surgical lamp,
like a water lily in celestial duckweed.
Someone has told us to breathe deeply,
to feel the autumn like a note in the warmed up vocal cords.

You unbutton your coat to drink
the double heady latte with autumn warmth.
The coffee stall resembling a crumpled milky cap
looks lovely and not crumpled at all.

You pluck out your earphone
like a weed out of a vegetable patch
and walk on the leaves to hear the rustle.
It’s a day when even Hamlet would suddenly choose to be
and get a cat or even a couple of chinchillas.

I’ll set the alarm for seven and courageously get up,
hold a door in the subway to some angry old women.
The city is gray. The orb, are you gone for good?
Will you ever come back? I used to believe in you so much.


Anastasia Ananasova


Review by Don Thompson

This admirable poem caught my attention all the more because I just happen to be into one of my periodic rereadings of Osip Mandelstam.  Here we are in his Petersburg, balanced (with no doubt about which way we’re tipping) between summer’s false hopes and the inevitable long and oppressive winter.  And the speaker in the poem knows what’s coming.

But not yet.  There’s one last irenic day of autumn.  The sun still has warmth—well, some warmth even if its light suggests surgery and swamps.  She’s in sync here with Mandelstam who compared Leningrad light to cod liver oil.  But for the moment, the coffee stall that usually resembles a crumpled hat isn’t misshapen at all.  I can see Chaplin’s irrepressible tramp picking up his bowler after it’s been run over by a steam roller and reshaping it.  Good as new.

And yet, through the entire poem, I feel a thick gloom rising from the bottom of the page and finally snuffing the weak sun she used to believe in that may never come back.  Maybe.  But she’s already undercut her own downbeat ending by setting the alarm clock for seven (still dark out) and willing herself to be up and about, even holding a door for an angry old woman.  I’m convinced she’ll be hanging in there come spring, ready to raise chinchillas with Hamlet.


Review by Vyarka Kozareva

In the poem The Yellow Orb, behind the similes and symbols crystallizes the idea of hope. Hope as something necessary for and inseparable from the human’s reasonable existence.

The mentioned name of Prince Hamlet is an interesting detail which the author A. Ananasova uses to remind that choices can be predestined or free, easy or hard, insignificant or fateful. (According to one of the fathers of existentialism S. Kirkegaard, it is the act of making choices that brings meaning to our lives.)

The reader finds an open final with shift leaving traces of doubt on which to speculate.

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