About the Author

From the book Kliazma and Yauza
From the book The Wild Rose
From the book Tristan and Isolde
From the book Old Songs
From the book Gates. Windows. Arches
From the book Stanzas in the Manner of Alexander Pope
From the book Stellae and Inscriptions  
From the book The Iambic Verses
The Chinese Travelogue
From An Unfinished Book
From the book The Evening Song
From the book Elegies
From the book The Beginning of a Book
From the book Stellae and Inscriptions

To Nina Braginskaya
who has studied antique epitaphs, and much else, insightfully
A Boy, an Old Man, and a Dog
A boy, an old man, and a dog. Perhaps it’s the grave of
a crone or a woman.
                                How can we know
what a person’s reflection will be when looking into the watery deep
that’s alabaster smooth?
                                It could be like this:
A boy, a dog, an old man.
The boy is especially sad.

– I’ve done wrong, Dad, but I’ll never be able to right it.
– Well, – the old man says, – I forgive you but you will not hear.

It’s nice here.
                    – It’s nice here?..
                    – It’s nice here?.. –
an echo is heard
in the hallways.

– So you called and I came.
Hi, Dad. They redid the bedrooms at home,
Mama is pining. – My son, my late, my only, listen to me,
I’m speaking in parting: to nobility always adhere,
It’s the best that the living can do...
                                                    – Mama told me to say ...
– You will be happy.
                          – When?
                                   – Always.
                                            – That’s hard to take.
                                – What can you do,
that’s how it is with us.
                               In silence the dog is observing
The talk: the eyes of that white water,
Of that picture –
«A boy, a dog, an old man».

Andrew Wachtel
 A Boy, an Old Man, and a Dog
The Figure of a Woman
Two Figures
Mistress and Servant
Pitcher: Tombstone of a Friend
Playing Child
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