Featured Poem

Plasticine Army

The plasticine army
Marches off to war
The plasticine band
Sounds the attack
The plasticine cavalry
Advances in two rows
Towards the enemy lines
The horses are panting
The plasticine enemy
Dig in behind the hill
The drummer beats his drum
With his matchstick drumsticks
The plasticine cannons roar
The plasticine cannon balls
Hit the chest of drawers
And end up as flat as a pancake

The plasticine armies meet
In hand-to-hand combat
Then in a split second
Everyone has frozen to a stop.
Everyone stock still
All the same time.
These soldiers aren’t fighting
Because they want to,
They’re plasticine men
Made from a ball of
Plasticine.

Plasticine wars
All end this way:
A split second:…
…frozen-to-the-spot
And then into their box
Asleep in each other’s arms
Yesterday’s enemies
Tomorrow’s
Cats, pigs, dogs
And dolls’ dinners,
And wedding cakes.

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About the translation:
Poet:
Marina Boroditskaya
Translator:
Sasha Dugdale, Michael Rosen
Original language:
Russian
Issue:
Series 3 Number 16 - The Dialect of the Tribe

About the author

Marina Boroditskaya

Original poet

Marina Boroditskaya

Marina Boroditskaya is a Russian poet and translator. She has published numerous books of children’s poetry in Russia, and tra...

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Sasha Dugdale

Translator

Sasha Dugdale

Described as ‘one of the most original poets of her generation’ (Paul Batchelor, Guardian), Sasha Dugdale’s most recent collec...

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Translator

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen is the UK’s best loved children’s poet and the former Children’s Laureate. He has spent a lifetime promoting poe...

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