A Poem From Siberia


One of the stories in Do Not Avenge Us is written by Galina Baranovski Sapovalova. She gives us a poem that her mother wrote while she was in Siberia, deported with her children after her husband was murdered by the Bolsheviks. She and her children were “enemies of the people.”

The names you will see in the poem are the names of her children. “Galea” is the nickname for Galina, the narrator of the story.

Here is the English translation. You also have the Romanian text below:

By the flowers, leaves, and deer,
Bad you’ve cursed me, oh, dad dear,
You cursed me on a Monday,
So the world I covered all day.
You cursed me on Tuesday, too,
That I remained alone, and you
Could help me not in wilderness
To feed my children, powerless.
And when we see that night has come,
By cold like death we’re overcome,
For our blanket small it is,
And everyone says, “I’m cold, please!”
Galea wants it so she’s covered,
I desire it with ardor,
To Vitali it never gets,
And Silvica cries with regrets.
And Costica, having no fold,
Cries and shouts: Mamica, I’m cold!
Seeing all these things like this,
I wake up, all is amiss!
I begin to cover them,
And to think, why me, why them?
Why am I so much in torment?
What did I do to men so bad
That God sent me this bitterness
And sent me out in wilderness
With many children, fatherless.
Lord, if you ever want to do
A miracle, genuine and true,
So my time here does get shorter
So I can say my luck was better,
So I can go back to my home,
To see my family, my very own,
To die back home, where I am from,
Regrets, I would have none at all,
For I would die in my own village.
There is no more cherished thing on earth
Than the village where I was born.
But if the Good God wishes not
That I would have what I may not ought,
Then please forgive me all of you,
My word in writing I leave for you,
And I pray you to forget it not,
To know that luck I did not have
And that I carried my life in senseless sands
In the darkness of foreign lands.

Romanian now:
Foaie verde, foaie lata
Rau m-ai blestemat, of, tata,
Si m-ai blestemat si lunea, 
De-am ajuns sa-nconjur lumea. 
Si m-ai blestemat si martea, 
De-am ajuns sa-mi manânc viata
Singurica prin pustii
Cu o casa de copii.
Când vedem ca vine noaptea,
Ne ia asemenea cu moartea,
Caci oghelu-i mititel
Si nu ne ajungem cu el:
Galea-l trage sa se înveleasca,
Eu as vrea sa ma-nvelesc,
Pe Vitali nu-l ajunge,
Iar Silvica începe-a plânge!
Iar Costica, la picioare,
Plânge si striga: Mi-e frig!
Valeu, spinarea ma doare!
Dar si eu, când vad asa, 
Nu-mi mai vine-a ma culca!
Eu ma scol si-i învelesc
Si încep sa ma gândesc… 
Si îmi zic în gândul meu: 
De ce ma chinuiesc eu? 
Oare ce-am facut mai rau 
De m-a batut Dumnezeu, 
De-am ajuns eu prin pustii 
Cu o casa de copii? 
Doamne, vei face vreodata 
O minune minunata
Sa mi se scurteze strocul3,
Sa spun ca asa mi-a fost norocul, 
Sa ma-ntorc la vatra mea,
Sa-mi vad cumnati, parinti, surori 
Si pe urma pot sa mor!
Ca nu mi-ar parea rau defel
Ca as sti ca mor în satul meu.
Caci nimic pe lume nu-i mai scump 
Ca satul în care m-am nascut!
Dar de n-a vrea Bunul Dumnezeu 
Sa-mi împlinesc dorinta si eu,
Ca sa mor în satul meu,
Îmi cer iertare de la toti
Si îmi las ultimul cuvânt în scris

Si va rog sa nu mi-l uitati nici în vis
Si veti sti ca eu am fost aiciea fara de noroc
Si am trait în parte
În neagra strainatate. 



About Tavi's Corner

Blogging on ancient philosophy, communist persecution in Romania (including deportation to Siberia), and Orthodox Christianity. I've translated books from Romanian to English, and I also write about them from time to time.
This entry was posted in Bessarabia, Deportations to Siberia. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Poem From Siberia

  1. Pingback: Tales of beauty and love from the darkness of the Siberian Gulag | Tavi's Corner

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