Russian poem from 1942
(Son to Father…)
Do not call me, father. Do not seek me.
Do not call me. Do not wish me back.
We’re on a route unchartered, fire and blood erase our track.
On we fly on wings of thunder, never more to sheathe our swords.
All of us in battle fallen – not to be brought back by words.
Will there be a rendezvous? I know not. I only know we still must fight.
We are sand grains in infinity, never to meet, nevermore to see light.
(Father to son…)
Farewell then my son. Farewell then my conscience.
Farewell my youth, my solace, my one and my only.
Let this farewell be the end of the story,
A solitude vast in which none is more lonely,
In which you remained barred forever
From light, from air, with your death pains untold.
Untold and unsoothed, never to be resurrected.
Forever and ever an 18 year old.
No trains ever come from those regions,
Unscheduled and scheduled.
No aeroplanes fly there.
Farewell then my son,
For no miracles happen, as in this world
Dreams do not come true.
I will dream of you still as a baby,
Treading the earth with little strong toes,
The earth where already so many lie buried.
This song to my son, then, is come to its close.
Extract from a poem by Junior Lieutenant Vladimir Pavlovich Antokolski who was killed in action on 6th June 1942.
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