Two Poems

Originals by Maxim Borodin
“Carpenter’s Son” translated, from the Russian, by Jacob A. Sackett-Sanders
“AIR” translated, from the Russian, by Darya Koltunyuk

Carpenter’s Son

I wanted to be
the son of a carpenter,
but I am forced
to sit behind a computer
all day long,
drinking my melancholy
with instant coffee,
eating my insomnia
with sausage rolls.
Every day I
buy a lottery ticket
in the hope of
winning money
for the acquisition of a new car
a new apartment,
gradually forgetting,
how the wood,
from which my cradle
is made,

Сын плотника

Я хотел быть
сыном плотника,
а вынужден
сидеть за компьютером
целый день,
запивая тоску
растворимым кофе,
заедая бессонницу
сосисками в тесте.
Я каждый день
покупаю лотерейный билет
в надежде
выиграть денег
на приобретение новой машины
новой квартиры,
постепенно забывая,
как пахнет дерево,
из которого сделана



He is often mistaken for another.
They hail him on the street,
chase his back and scrutinize his face.
This never offends him.
His movements are supple and neat,
effortless and unforced.
His gaze is always engrossed in the study of miniscule details
on the surfaces of walls, ceilings and pavements.
encountering him in different parts of town,
later claim
that he is omnipresent,
like an angel.
I can say that too.
But can also not speak of it…
It’s often when I have to not speak. 



Его часто принимают за другого.
Окликают на улице,
догоняют со спины и заглядывают в лицо.
Он никогда не обижается на это.
Его движения плавны и аккуратны,
легки и непринуждённы.
Его взгляд всегда поглощён изучением мелких деталей
на поверхности стен, потолков и мостовых.
встречающиеся с ним в разных концах города,
утверждают потом,
что он вездесущ,
как ангел.
Я тоже могу это сказать.
А могу и не говорить…
Мне часто приходится не говорить.


Maxim Borodin was born in 1973 and lives in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. He holds a Ph.D. in the Science of Technology and is a member of the literature group “New bridge”, which has published the almanac of contemporary poetry, “STYH”, since 1999.

Jacob A. Sackett-Sanders (he/him) is a writer and translator from Wilmington, Delaware. As an undergrad, he studied Slavic Languages and Literature at Princeton University, with a particular focus on Russian poetry and 20th century Yugoslav writing. Although professionally active in the technology sector, publishing his own novel remains a quiet future goal and eager aspiration.

Dasha (Darya) Koltunyuk completed a summa cum laude degree in Comparative Literature at Princeton University, focusing on the intersection between music and literature. She has performed both as a soloist and a chamber musician throughout the United States, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, and the United Kingdom, while claiming top prizes at national and international competitions. Beyond performance, Koltunyuk has extended her love of music by launching the Opportunity Music Project’s chamber music summer camp for low-income NYC children as a winner of the Davis Project for Peace, and establishing Live Music Meditations at Princeton University Concerts as Outreach Manager for the series, shortly after graduation. She continues to be part of the inspiring team at Princeton University Concerts, living in Princeton, NJ with her soulmate husband, pianist/composer Gregg Kallor, and their tomato plant, Tobias.