Daniil Kharms, “A Man Left Home”

1-255.jpgFirst publication of Daniil Kharms’s poem “A Man Left Home,” Chizh 3 (1937). Illustrated by Ivan Shabanov. Image courtesy of d.harms-ru. Inspired by togdazine.ru

Daniil Kharms
A Man Left Home (A Ditty)

A man left home
Bearing sack and stick.
He set out by foot,
He set out by foot
On a long, long trip.

He went straight ahead,
Eyes glued to the road.
Neither drank nor slept,
Neither slept nor drank,
Didn’t sleep, drink or eat food.

Then one day at dawn
He walked into a dark wood.
Since that day,
Since that day,
Since that day he’s been gone for good.

But if someday your paths
Should happen to cross,
Then, quick as you can,
Quick as you can,
Quick as you can, please tell us.

Translated by the Russian Reader

P.S. It transpires that the Berne-based quintet Olgas Bagasch has recorded an enchanting vocal-instrumental rendition of this poem in the original Russian. Thanks to Comrade Katrin for the heads-up.