A Cry from Childhood
Why must it come just now to trouble me,
This sudden, shrill, and dreamlike cry
Of children calling “Valeri! Valeri!”
Out in the street nearby?
It is not for me, that distant childhood call;
Alas, it is for me no more.
They are calling now to someone else, my small
Namesake who lives next door.
Though such disturbances, I must admit,
Are troubling to my train of thought,
I keep my feelings to myself, for it
Would be comical, would it not,
If, from his high and studious retreat,
A gaunt old man leaned out to say
“I can’t come out” to the children in the street,
“I’m not allowed to play.”
Translation R. Wilbur