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Стихотворение Набокова о Супермене

Найдено и опубликовано считавшемся утраченным стихотворение Владимира Набокова "The Man of To-morrow’s Lament" («Плач Человека из Будущего»). В своё время оно было предложено к публикации журналу The New Yorker, в котором его отвергли, заявив, что «читатели этого не поймут». Но и сегодня нашлись критики (точнее, критикессы), которые тут же объявили стихотворение «плохим». По-моему, они просто не поняли, что это стихотворение — ироничная шутка писателя.

Поскольку прочитать его в оригинале непросто (Times Literary Supplement требует подписки для доступа к тексту), привожу его текст здесь:

The Man of To-morrow’s Lament

I have to wear these glasses — otherwise,
when I caress her with my super-eyes,

her lungs and liver are too plainly seen
throbbing, like deep-sea creatures, in between

dim bones. Oh, I am sick of loitering here,
a banished trunk (like my namesake in "Lear"),

but when I switch to tights, still less I prize
my splendid torso, my tremendous thighs,

the dark-blue forelock on my narrow brow,
the heavy jaw; for I shall tell you now

my fatal limitation ... not the pact
between the worlds of Fantasy and Fact

which makes me shun such an attractive spot
as Berchtesgaden, say; and also not

that little business of my draft; but worse:
a tragic misadjustment and a curse.

I’m young and bursting with prodigious sap,
and I’m in love like any healthy chap —

and I must throttle my dynamic heart
for marriage would be murder on my part,

an earthquake, wrecking on the night of nights
a woman’s life, some palmtrees, all the lights,

the big hotel, a smaller one next door
and half a dozen army trucks — or more.

But even if that blast of love should spare
her fragile frame — what children would she bear?

What monstrous babe, knocking the surgeon down,
would waddle out into the awestruck town?

When two years old he’d break the strongest chairs,
fall through the floor and terrorize the stairs;

at four, he’d dive into a well; at five,
explore a roaring furnace — and survive;

at eight, he’d ruin the longest railway line
by playing trains with real ones; and at nine,

release all my old enemies from jail,
and then I’d try to break his head — and fail.

So this is why, no matter where I fly,
red-cloaked, blue-hosed, across the yellow sky,

I feel no thrill in chasing thugs and thieves —
and gloomily broad-shouldered Kent retrieves

his coat and trousers from the garbage can
and tucks away the cloak of Superman;

and when she sighs — somewhere in Central Park
where my immense bronze statue looms — "Oh, Clark ...

Isn’t he wonderful!?!", I stare ahead
and long to be a normal guy instead.
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