Flies Like Thoughts – Innokenty Annensky (1855-1909)

Flies Like Thoughts


Flies, like black thoughts, have not quit me all day … – A N Apukhtin

I’ve grown weary of sleeplessness, dreams.

Locks of hair hang over my eyes:

I would like, with the poison of rhymes,

to drug thoughts I cannot abide.


I would like to unravel these knots ..

Or is the whole thing a mistake?

In late autumn, the flies are such pests –

their cold wings are horribly sticky.


Fly-thoughts crawl about, as in dreams,

they cover the paper in black …

Oh, how dead, and how dreadful they seem …

Tear them up, burn them up – quick!

  • translated by Boris Drayluk

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