It’s not yet cold, all rivers flow, And snowball trees1 are scarlet colored. But one more man now sleeps below The Novodevichy2 warm ground. He likely never was afraid Of common silly superstitions: That Death at first will grant admissions To those who played their death onstage. If so, Makarych3, why this haste? Let loose your strings, and ease on gripping. You must refilm, replay, rephrase, No matter what, but keep on living! He carried lead inside his stomach, And groveled like a faithful dog. While tears were forcing men to choke, The snowball branches gently bowed. That snowball tree was scarlet colored. Death always marks the ones who’re worthy, Then picks on random, one by one. A truly great today is gone! - He paid his toll and now it’s done: He would not rebel and won’t worry.       And maybe "Razin"4 would be filmed... Where would you go? Onega5? Narach6? It’s all chit-chatting talk7, Makarych, And such a lad has failed to live!8         And, with a minute hesitation, Doom spoke between the gritted teeth: "Stop guarding one who has high cheeks. It seems, that he could not care less For all his funeral processions. Let’s take the one whose soul is beaming, Who carries burden on his back; So, he wouldn’t longer tempt the fate, He’s ours for grabs while he’s still sleeping!" And after a mandatory bathing9, All ready for the God’s ordeal, He suddenly has died for real, Much more determined than while acting.            
1 "The Red Snowball Tree" is a 1974 Soviet drama film, written and directed by Vasily Shukshin. Shukshin also played the lead role of a former convict, who gets killed by his former friends.
2 A famous cemetery in Moscow where many actors, artists and writers are buried.
3 colloquial pronunciation. A patronymic of Vasily Makarovich Shukshin.
4 A cancelled major movie picture, based on the Shukshin’s novel about Stenka Razin, a Cossack who lead a major upraising against the tsar.
5 Lake Onega is located half-way between St. Petersburg and the White Sea.
6 A scenic lake in Belarus.
7 This line in the original features a Russian catch-phrase, which was used as a title of Shukshin’s 1972 movie, known in the West as "Happy Go Lucky".
8 A ref. to the Shukshin’s movie There Is Such a Lad, which was based on a collection of his stories.
9 In the original "banya", a traditional Russian sauna.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2020