Irina's poems of the seventies were crisp, mischievous, and romantic. She certainly defied the stereotype - that of a poet who spends long hours at home, preferably in a half-lit room, searching for metaphors and being otherwise unhappy. In fact, it was awfully hard to catch her at home at all. She couldn't stand small rooms, lifts and narrow corridors. She was always outdoors....
With time her poems became more reserved. She spent longer hours writing ....
So writes Ilya Nylin of Irina Ratushinskaya.
And I undid the old shawl
And I undid the old shawl -
And at once there came to me
The four winds from all the roads,
From the clouds of the earth.
And the first wind sang me a song
About a house behind a black mountain,
And the second wind told me
About an enchanted arquebus.
And the third wind began to dance,
And the fourth gave me a ring.
But the fifth wind came laughing -
And I recognised his face.
And I asked: 'Where have you come from?
And who has sent you to me?'
But he looked into my features
And said nothing.
And I touched his shoulder -
And sent all the others away.
And this wind blew out the candle,
When night fell.
All from 'No, I'm Not Afraid' translated by David McDuff