My friend has left for Magadan - Hats off, hats off! He drove himself, he drove himself - Not by a transport, not by a transport. Not because he was down on his luck - Not to defy someone, Not because of the gossip: His being a crank, - But just so. But just so. Maybe someone said: "To no purpose! How can one decide thus - loose everything Where there are nothing but camps, And in them are murderers and in them are murderers..." He answered: "Donít believe the gossip - There are no more than in Moscow!" Then packs a suitcase And - to Magadan! And - to Magadan! Not because of me - not the years, - I could jump in the night out of an electric train But I donít go to Magadan, Forgetting habits, closing quotation marks. I shall sing to the sound of the chords About what he is going to see, About what I havenít seen in life, - About Magadan. About Magadan. My friend went by himself - He has enough, he has enough, - He wonít be beaten in the convoy - He goes voluntarily, he goes voluntarily. I honour my godgiven fate... And perhaps - to Magadan too? Drive together with the friend - Und lie at the bottom!..
© Elisabeth Jelinek. Translation, 2018