Private Borisov by Vladimir Vysotsky, English translation

Private Borisov by Vladimir Vysotsky, English translation
(Рядовой Борисов, Владимир Высоцкий, английский перевод)

 “Private Borisov!”- “Here!”- “Tell me how this went down!”
 “It was cold. I barely hung on.
 Then it rained, then it got dark, and I was getting tired…
 But I warned him, as per protocol!

  I asked: “Who goes there?” He laughed out loud.
  I fired a warning shot. He yelled: “Cut that shit out!”
  I didn’t argue, didn’t get upset,
  spat out my smoke and shot him in the head.”

 “Cut it out, private, tell the truth, help yourself out!
 You would recognize him any place…”
 “Negative, sir, it was dark and foggy, there were clouds –
 someone passed.  I didn’t see his face.

  I asked: “Who goes there?” He laughed out loud.
  I fired a warning shot. He yelled: “Cut that shit out!”
  I didn’t argue, didn’t get upset,
  spat out my smoke and shot him in the head.”

 “Private Borisov,” –  the investigator pressed again, –
 “We’ll court marshal you, you mark my word!”
 “I was at my post – it was cold, dark, and then it rained,” –
 I re-stated calmly word-for-word.

  “I asked: “Who goes there?” He laughed out loud.
  I fired a warning shot. He yelled: “Cut that shit out!”
  I didn’t argue, didn’t get upset,
  spat out my smoke and shot him in the head.”

 (We disagreed a bit – at work – about a year ago –
 and I don’t forget insults right away.
 But our debate didn’t quite work out, though:
 a pick axe had gotten in our way.

  I begged: “Bro, let her be!” He laughed out loud.
  So I hit him.  He shouted “Cut that shit out!”
  I was upset – unsure what to say.
  Spat out my smoke and simply walked away.)

 Yes, I lucked out then, since he was tough and he recovered.
 But this time – I followed orders, that is all.
 It was cold and dark, it rained and there were clouds.
  I have shot him, as per protocol!

  I asked: “Who goes there?” He laughed out loud.
  I fired a warning shot. He yelled: “Cut that shit out!”
  I didn’t argue, didn’t get upset,
  spat out my smoke and shot him in the head.

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About Julie Deshtor

Julie Deshtor grew up in the Soviet Union during the turbulent 90's, and moved to the United States shortly after the Soviet Empire collapsed in 1991. A bilingual author, Julie writes both fiction and poetry, as well as translating poetry and lyrics. She brings her rich cultural and life experienced to her fiction, exploring the psychological struggles of her characters with compassion and insight, as they navigate the murky waters of the modern society. Julie currently resides in Utah, USA. Her interests include art, world literature, zoology, anthropology and urban subculture
This entry was posted in Music, Russia - about Russian culture and Russian history - past and present, Russian to English Translations by Julie Deshtor, Vladimir Vysotsky Russian to English translations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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