Swans Commentary » swans.com June 4, 2012  



Ward n.6
A new poetic version of Chekhov's famous tale


by Guido Monte


Multilingual Poetry



Pic: "dolore n.2" - © 2012 by Guido Monte - Size: 9k
dolore n.2
© 2012 Guido Monte



(Swans - June 4, 2012)  

an old ward of a russian hospital,
near a wood of burrs, rusty roofs,
broken chimneypots; greenery
and weeds invade this sad prison.

a vast pile of hospital rubble.
here's nikita, thick-headed guard,
that beats and hurts the patients,
he thinks that beating and hurting inmates
is the only possible way
to restore his interior order.
here are five patients, madmen,
sitting on a bed.
and one talks about the human meanness,
and about the dream of a different world,
and every day is the same,
a cup of tea and
legumes soap at the same time.

andrèj efímyc is the doctor,
he doesn't take care of himself.
he doesn't come to the hospital
every day,
he's bored with everything,
even if continuing
to buy some books on philosophy.
he thinks on the world
all is meaningless
and life is an uncomfortable trap:
that it's better to forget past,
and present is a sick dirt,
all is vanity, all is the same.
but ivàn dmitric, one of the madmen,
accuses efímyc because, even if madmen
and people of sound mind are the same thing,
only people of sound mind can walk and live
and madmen are always imprisoned...
it was only a casualness, the doctor answers,
it is only a casualness, someone
must live in prisons and hospitals,
here's the opinion of doctor efímyc:
all must die and there is not god
toutes choses doivent mourir
et il n'y a pas de dieu.
it's easy to speak on this way, ivan says,
because you never really suffered.
but too many people get started on the tale
that doctor andrèj efímyc goes always
to the ward n.6, to talk
with his patient, no prescription;
his colleagues want to give him a bad name...

then efímyc makes a long journey with his friend
michaíl aver'jànyc, and gives him his last
five hundred rubles as a present.
when they return home
meanwhile another colleague replaced him,
efimyc has lost his job,
by now is in a dark magic circle.
at last they lock him in the madmen ward,
they give him a new uniform of inmate,
and slippers.
efímyc puts them on, with indifference,
and looks at fields out of the window.
then he feels to be weak
and must try to go away, out...
so he runs with breathless haste
to the mean exit,
but the thick-headed guard nikita
stops him and smashes his face in,
and so efímyc understands all the evil
every patient of that ward
had to have suffered over the years
in this place of pain...
but in the evening he dies, a stroke.
a shiver, nausea: colours, some visions,
then everything disappears forever.

his dead body, in the funeral chapel,
is illuminated by the moon.



The author thanks Silvia Dello Russo.

picture: dolore n.2, by Guido Monte (2012).


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art18/gmonte141.html
Published June 4, 2012