To Igor Kohanovsky
My friend went to Magadan, Take off your hats, take off your hats. He went there all by himself, Without a sentence, without a sentence. Not because he had no success, Not in spite of somebody, Not to cause any rumors, But just like that, but just like that. I know, somebody will say: "Oh, heíll be sorry that he went there! There are only prisons and camps, In them are killers, in them are killers." Heíll answer me: "Donít believe those lies! In Moscow there are killers, too." Then he will pack his suitcase, And to Magadan, and to Magadan. Itís not that I am old enough - I d jump from a train one night. But I m not going to Magadan, Forgetting the habits, closing the quotes. And I will sing with my guitar Of everything that he will see there, Of things he never saw in life - Of Magadan, of Magadan. My friend went there all by himself, Enough from him, enough for him. The convoy will not beat him up - Heís a volunteer, heís a volunteer. And Iím receiving a share from God, But maybe also to Magadan... I should go there with my friend, And forget myself.
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991