web analytics

Miroslav Valek – Little Mice

I have discovered that someone landed on the blog while searching for Miroslav Valek‘s poem, Little Mice. To serious students of poetry, especially in Slavic languages, the name of Valek (1927-1991) needs no introduction; this January marks his 20th death anniversary. Singlehandedly, he modernised Slovak literature by enriching it with the best of French Symbolist and surrealist poetry (S. Mallarmé, G. Apollinaire, and J. Prévert). In spite of heading the Slovak Ministry of Culture for many years, Valek surprisingly escaped the tenets of ideology, leaving behind the body of work characterised, first and foremost, by its focus on humanity, compassion, and romanticism.

An important part of his work were poems for children. The book called The Wisemen of Tramtaria was published in Moscow in 1973, quite awhile before I was born; it previously belonged to my cousin. I have just looked through the book, and I now realise how and when the seeds of love for Western European towns with their castles, eerie cobbled streets, elegant weathercocks, and the omnipresent feeling of mystery and romantic adventures were planted. I grew up loving this A4 book, illustrated by a Russian minimalist artist, Evgeny Monin. Valek’s poems were rendered in Russian by one of the best Soviet children’s poets, Roman Sef. The poem is in Russian, I’m afraid; it is a small sketch about “mice” that disguises a story of how seasons change. I am sure, however, it will be of great help for those who were searching for it.

Мирослав Валек. Мышки. 
(перевод Романа Сефа; рисунки Евгения Монина)

В четыре лапки
Мышонок с мышкой
Играли концерт
Для оркестра с коврижкой

Мама сидела
У фортепьяно,
А сын коврижку грыз,
Как ни странно.

И было солнце,
И было лето,
И мама была
Небесного цвета.

А милый сынишка,
Смешной и усатый,

И в пышном парке,
Густом и зеленом,
Зеленые мыши
Плясали под кленом,

А в желтом стогу
Ярко-желтые мышки
Мерили желтенькие

И красные мышки
В лесу ярко-красном
Той осенью пели
О солнышке ясном,

А белой зимой
Мыши, белые очень,
Бежали, бежали
Вдоль белых обочин.

Бежали они,
Шелестели негромко,
И этих мышей
Называли “поземка”.

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Julia Shuvalova is the author of Los Cuadernos de Julia blog. She is an author of several books, a translator, and a Foreign Languages tutor. She lives and works in Moscow, Russia.

error: Sorry, no copying !!