Partial translation of “ПЕРВОМАЙСКАЯ” Семёна Кирсанова (“The First of May,” by Semyon Kirsanov)


This is a partial translation of the Russo-Soviet poet Semyon Kirsanov’s (Семён Кирсанов, 1906-1972) “ПЕРВОМАЙСКАЯ” poem, dedicated to the established memory and future prospects of the First of May.  Only the final four stanzas of the poem are here translated.

The entirety of the poem’s text can be heard triumphantly sung chorally in the final movement of Dmitriy Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 3 (“Первомайская”).

Из “ПЕРВОМАЙСКОЙ” Семёна Кирсанова:


Фабрики и колонии,
Майский взметнем парад.
Землю сожмём коленками –
Наша пришла пора.

Слушайте, пролетарии,
Наших заводов речь,
Вам поджигая старое,
Новую явь зажечь.

Солнце знамён поднимая,
Марш, загреми в ушах.
Каждое Первое мая
К социализму шаг.

Первое мая – шаг
Сжавших винтовку шахт.
В площади, революция,
Вбей миллионный шаг.


Factories and colonies
In the May Day parade whirl.
Earth, compress knees –
Our time has come.

Listen, proletarians,
To our factories’ speech:
You are burning the old,
And giving new reality life.

Rising sun flags,
March, a thunder in my ears.
Every May Day
Toward socialism step.

First of May – a stride
Having reduced the rifle pits.
In the city squares, revolution
Arrives rushing with millions of steps.


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