The Frog — Lydia Povh

Here is a poem about autumn. It’s just barely winter now, astronomically speaking, but it still feels very much like autumn outside, weather-wise.

I’m translating more children’s poetry in this new season of life. These are the poems I’ve known by heart since I could first repeat syllables. From the anthology Favorite Poems, Volume Two («Улюблені вірші. Том 2») published by the beloved house of A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA. This is one of my very favorites.

A note on word choice: I considered whether “wee little” would fare better in the first line, but somehow I like the sibilance and texture of “small little” there more. Additionally, the gratuitous use of words like “wee” feels a wee bit disingenuous to me, seeing as I am neither an old-timey fairy tale character nor Scottish.


Лідія Повх

Журилась під осінь
малесенька жабка:
уже потемніла
у соняха шапка
і жовтими стали
листочки у клена,
а я іще й досі

The Frog

Lydia Povh

A small little frog got
so sad in the autumn:
“The sunflower’s hat has
turned dark top to bottom,
the leaves of the maple
have turned a bright yellow,
but I’m still a verdant
and green little fellow.”

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