Category Archives: BOOKS

quotation: Man is by nature a political animal. Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)


Man is by nature a political animal.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Discuss

quotation: Love may be or it may not, but where it is, it ought to reveal itself in its immensity. Honore de Balzac


Love may be or it may not, but where it is, it ought to reveal itself in its immensity.

Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) Discuss

quotation: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)


If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake—Aye, what then?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) Discuss

quotation: Charlotte Bronte


If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) Discuss

quotation: Willa Cather


Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.Willa Cather (1873-1947) Discuss

quotation: Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life. Robert Louis Stevenson


Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Discuss

The man does better who runs from disaster than he who is caught by it. Homer


The man does better who runs from disaster than he who is caught by it.

Homer (900 BC-800 BC) Discuss

quotation: The good befriend themselves. Sophocles


The good befriend themselves.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC) Discuss

today’s birthday: George Bernard Shaw (1856)


George Bernard Shaw (1856)

Shaw was an Irish playwright and critic who revolutionized the Victorian stage, authoring more than 60 plays, including Man and Superman and Pygmalion, his comedic masterpiece. Nearly all of his works mix a vein of comedy with stern social commentary—on subjects including education, marriage, religion, government, and class privilege. Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925 and is the only person to have received both it and what other award? More… Discuss

quotation: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)


Though it is possible to utter words only with the intention to fulfill the will of God, it is very difficult not to think about the impression which they will produce on men and not to form them accordingly. But deeds you can do quite unknown to men, only for God. And such deeds are the greatest joy that a man can experience.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) Discuss

quotation: Miguel de Cervantes


I do not say a proverb is amiss when aptly and reasonably applied, but to be forever discharging them, right or wrong, hit or miss, renders conversation insipid and vulgar.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Discuss

quotation: A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Discuss


A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Discuss

quotation: Robert Louis Stevenson


To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Discuss

Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man’s features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man’s features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss

Antony singing If It Be Your Will (sometimes , people find their voice, and once in a while they recognize genius)


Antony singing If It Be Your Will (poem and song by the genius of Leonard Cohen )

quotation: My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt. Anna Sewell


My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.

Anna Sewell (1820-1878) Discuss

today’s birthday: Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785)


Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785)

An American journalist, playwright, and diplomat, Noah was the first Jew born in the United States to reach national prominence. After finding success as a diplomat, Noah held several public offices in New York City, edited and founded many newspapers, including the New York Enquirer and The Evening Star, and wrote plays such as She Would Be a Soldier. In the 1820s, he unsuccessfully attempted to buy Grand Island in the Niagara River to use for what purpose? More… Discuss

quotation: “Simple, sincere people seldom speak much of their piety. …” – Louisa May Alcott


Simple, sincere people seldom speak much of their piety. It shows itself in acts rather than in words, and has more influence than homilies or protestations.Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) Discuss

quotation: A mother is a mother still, The holiest thing alive. Samuel Taylor Coleridge


A mother is a mother still,

The holiest thing alive.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) Discuss

quotation: Consistency, madam, is the first of Christian duties. Charlotte Bronte


Consistency, madam, is the first of Christian duties.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Henry David Thoreau Begins Two Years of Simple Living (1845)


Henry David Thoreau Begins Two Years of Simple Living (1845)

In 1845, Thoreau, an American author and naturalist, built himself a cabin on the shore of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. He spent the next two years, two months, and two days there, observing nature, reading, and writing. He also kept a journal that he later used to write his masterpiece, Walden, or Life in the Woods, which compresses his time there into a single calendar year and uses the passage of the seasons to symbolize human development. What were Thoreau’s enigmatic last words? More… Discuss

quotation: “To endure is greater than to dare;…” – William Makepeace Thackeray


To endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune; to be daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it—who can say this is not greatness?

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) Discuss

quotation: Criticism, that fine flower of personal expression in the garden of letters. Joseph Conrad


Criticism, that fine flower of personal expression in the garden of letters.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) Discuss

It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose. Joseph Conrad


It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) Discuss

quotation: “It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts….” (Joseph Conrad (1857-1924))


It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) Discuss

quotation: Follow your honest convictions and be strong. William Makepeace Thackeray


Follow your honest convictions and be strong.

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) Discuss

quotation: The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. Kate Chopin


The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.

Kate Chopin (1851-1904) Discuss

today’s birthday: Pearl S. Buck (1892)


Pearl S. Buck (1892)

Buck was raised in China by her American missionary parents and left the country but a few times before she was 40. She drew upon her experiences there in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth, which describes the struggles of a Chinese peasant and his slave wife. Together with Sons and A House Divided, it forms a trilogy, part of the body of work that earned Buck the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. Buck also wrote five novels under what pseudonym? More… Discuss

quotation: Words are but wind; and learning is nothing but words; ergo, learning is nothing but wind. Jonathan Swift


Words are but wind; and learning is nothing but words; ergo, learning is nothing but wind.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Discuss

today’s birthday: George Orwell (1903)


George Orwell (1903)

Best known by his pseudonym George Orwell, Eric Arthur Blair was a British novelist and essayist famed for his scathingly satirical and frighteningly political novels: the anti-Soviet fable Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, a prophetic novel that portrays the catastrophic excesses of state control over the individual. Orwell was distrustful of all political parties and ideologies, and this sentiment is reflected in much of his work. What are some of his other novels? More… Discuss

quotation: Sleep is the best cure for waking troubles. Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616


Sleep is the best cure for waking troubles.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Discuss

quotation: Agatha Christie


I have learnt that I am me, that I can do the things that, as one might put it, me can do, but I cannot do the things that me would like to do.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Discuss

quotation: Agatha Christie (about work and working)


I didn’t want to work. It was as simple as that. I distrusted work, disliked it. I thought it was a very bad thing that the human race had unfortunately invented for itself.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Discuss

quotation: Rome took all the vanity out of me; for after seeing the wonders there, I felt too insignificant to live, and gave up all my foolish hopes in despair. Louisa May Alcott


Rome took all the vanity out of me; for after seeing the wonders there, I felt too insignificant to live, and gave up all my foolish hopes in despair.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) Discuss

quotation: The best of men cannot suspend their fate: The good die early, and the bad die late. Daniel Defoe


The best of men cannot suspend their fate:

The good die early, and the bad die late.

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Discuss

today’s birthday: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811)


Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811)

A prolific writer whose works fill more than a dozen volumes, Stowe was an American novelist and humanitarian. Spurred to action by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, she began writing an antislavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which became an instant and controversial best-seller. Its impact on Northerners’ attitudes toward slavery was significant, swaying much of the public to support, or at least sympathize with, the abolitionist cause. What else did Stowe write? More… Discuss

quotation: Fools make researches and wise men exploit them. H.G. Wells


Fools make researches and wise men exploit them.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) Discuss

Quotation: “… it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place…” Lewis Carroll


Now, here you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) Discuss

poetry: Aleksandr Pushkin: The Bronze Horseman A Petersburg Story 1833


 

Aleksandr Pushkin

Aleksandr Pushkin

The Bronze Horseman

A Petersburg Story

1833INTRODUCTION

The incident, described in this story is based on a truth.
The details of the flood are taken from the contemporary magazines.
The curious ones can consult the record, prepared by V. I. Berkh.

PROLOGUE

On a deserted, wave-swept shore,
He stood – in his mind great thoughts grow –
And gazed afar. The northern river
Sped on its wide course him before;
One humble skiff cut the waves’ silver.
On banks of mosses and wet grass
Black huts were dotted there by chance –
The miserable Finn’s abode;
The wood unknown to the rays
Of the dull sun, by clouds stowed,
Hummed all around. And he thought so:
‘The Swede from here will be frightened;
Here a great city will be wrought
To spite our neighborhood conceited.
From here by Nature we’re destined
To cut a door to Europe wide,
To step with a strong foot by waters.
Here, by the new for them sea-paths,
Ships of all flags will come to us –
And on all seas our great feast opens.’ 

An age passed, and the young stronghold,
The charm and sight of northern nations,
From the woods’ dark and marshes’ cold,
Rose the proud one and precious.
Where once the Finnish fisherman,
Sad stepson of the World, alone,
By low riverbanks’ a sand,
Cast into waters, never known,
His ancient net, now on the place,
Along the full of people banks,
Cluster the tall and graceful masses
Of castles and palaces; and sails
Hasten in throng to the rich quays
From all the lands our planet masters;
The Neva-river’s dressed with rocks;
Bridges hang o’er the waters proud;
Abundantly her isles are covered
With dark-green gardens’ gorgeous locks… 

By the new capital, the younger,
Old Moscow’s eclipsed at once -
Such is eclipsed a queen-dowager
By a new queen when her time comes.
I love you, Peter’s great creation,
I love your view of stern and grace, 
The Neva wave’s regal procession,
The grayish granite – her bank’s dress,
The airy iron-casting fences,
The gentle transparent twilight,
The moonless gleam of your nights restless,
When I so easy read and write
Without a lamp in my room lone,
And seen is each huge buildings’ stone
Of the left streets, and is so bright 
The Admiralty spire’s flight,
And when, not letting the night’s darkness
To reach the golden heaven’s height,
The dawn after the sunset hastens –
And a half-hour’s for the night.
I love your so sever winter’s 
Quite still and fresh air and strong frost, 
The sleighs race on the shores river’s,
The girls – each brighter than a rose,
The gleam and hum of the balls’ dances,
And, on the bachelors’ free feast,
The hissing of the foaming glasses
And the punch’s bluish flaming mist.
I love the warlike animation
Of the play-fields of the god Mars,
And horse-and-footmen priests’ of wars 
So homogeneous attraction,
In their ranks, in the rhythmic moves,
Those flags, victories and rended,
The glitter of those helmets, splendid,
Shot through in military strives.
I love, O capital my fairest,
Your stronghold guns’ thunder and smoke,
In moments when the northern empress
Adds brunches to the regal oak
Or Russia lauds a winning stroke
To any new and daring foe,
Or, breaking up the light-blue ice,
The Neva streams it and exults,
Scenting the end of cold and snow.

City of Peter, just you shine
And stand unshakable as Russia!
May make a peace with beauty, thine,
The conquered nature’s casual rushes;
And let the Finnish waves forget
Their ancient bondages and malice
And not disturb with their hate senseless
The endless sleep of Peter, great!

The awful period was that,
It’s fresh in our recollection…
This time about, my dear friend,
I am beginning my narration.
My story will be very sad.


PART ONE

On Petrograd, sunk into darkness,
November breathed with fall cold’s harshness.
And, splashing, with the noisy waves
Into the brims of her trim fences,
The Neva raved, like the seek raves
In a bed, that has become the restless.
Now it was very dark and late;
The rain stroke ‘gainst the window’s flat.
And the wind blew with sadly wailing.
Right at this time, from being a guest
Evgeny, for his nightly rest,
Came home. This name was most prevailing
In our young hero’s name choice.
It sounds pleasantly. Of course,
With it my pen’s had long connections
It needn’t the special commendations,
Though in the times, in Lithe gone,
It might have been the most attractive
And under Karamzin’s pen, fine,
Sung in some legends, our native;
But now it is forgotten by 
The world and rumors. Our guy
Lives in Kolomna: he’s in service,
Avoids the rich ones, and ne’er sad is
For his kin which had left the world,
Or for the well-forgotten old.

So, he is home – our Evgeny,
Took off his greatcoat, undressed,
Lay in his poor bed, but oppressed 
He was by his thoughts, so many.
What did he thought of? Well, of that
That he was poor and that his bread, 
His honour and his independence
Just by hard work must be achieved, 
That God should send to him from heavens
More mind and money. That do live 
Such idle, fully happy creatures –
The lazy-bones, quite ludicrous,.
Whose life is absolutely light!
That he had served for two long years;
And that the weather, former fierce,
Hadn’t come less fierce, that the flood
In the Neva is getting higher,
The bridges might be got entire,
And that his sweet Parasha’s place
For two-free days wouldn’t be accessed.
There sighed Evgeny with his soul,
And dreamed as dreams a real bard:

“To marry then? Of course it’s hard. 
But why don’t marry, in a whole?
I’m of the young and healthy sight,
Ready to work for day and night;
I’ll someway find the good repose,
The simple and shy place, at last,
Parasha will be there composed. 
The year or, may be, two will pass –
I’m in position, to my dear 
I’ll give all family to bear
And bring our children up, at once...
Such we’ll start life, at last repose,
With hand-in-hand, such we’ll come both,
And our grandsons will bury us...” 

Thus he did dream. And a great sadness
Embraced his soul in that night,
He wished the wind’s weep to be lesser,
Rain’s siege of windows – not so tight.
At last his sleepy eyes were closed...
And now the night is getting gray –
That night, so nasty and morose, 
And it is coming – the pale day
The awful day! During the night
Neva had strived for sea ‘gainst tempests
But, having lost all her great battles,
The river ceased the useless fight…
And in the morn on her shores proud,
Stood people in a pressed in lot
And saw the tall and heard the loud 
Fierce waters’ mountains, it had brought.
But by the force of airy breathing
Blocked from the Gulf, the wide Neva
Came back – the wrathful one and seething -
And flooded islands, near and far;
The weather grew into the cruel,
Neva – more swelling and more brutal,
Like in a kettle boiled and steamed,
And then, as a wild creature seemed,
Jumped on the city. And before it,
All ran away from its strait path,
And all got emptied there; at once.
The waters flew into the cellars,
And raised up to the fence of canals –
And, like Triton, Petropol sails
Sunk in the water till his waist. 

Siege and assault! The evil waters
Thrust into windows, like slaughters.
The mad boats row into a glass.
The stalls are under the wet mass.
The wrecks of huts, the logs, roofs’ pieces,
The stores of the tread, auspicious,
The things, carried the pale want from,
The bridges got away by storm,
The coffins from the graveyards - float,
Along the streets!
                               The populace
Sees God’s great wrath and waits for death.
All is destroyed: bread and abode.
And how to live?
                           The monarch, blessed, 
Tsar Aleksandr, in a good fashion,
Still governed Russia that year, dread,
And from the balcony he, sad 
And pale, said: “Ne’er the God-made nature
Can be subdued by any tsars.”
And, in a thought, looked at the evil’s 
With his full of deep sadness eyes.
The streets turned into the fast rivers,
Running to made lakes, dark and grievous,
The Palace was an island, sad,
That loomed over the blackened waters.
The Tsar decreed – from end to end,
Down the shortest streets and longest,
On danger routs over the waves,
His generals set into the sailing –
To save the drawing and straining
On streets and in their homes-graves.

Then on the widest Square of Peter,
Where with his glass a new pile glittered,
Where on its porch, too highly placed,
With their paw raised, as if they’re living,
Stood two marble lions, overseeing.
On one of them, as for a race,
Without his hat, arms – tightly pressed,
Awfully pale – no stir appeared –
Evgeny sat. And there he feared
Not his own death. He did not hear
How the wrathful roller neared,
Greedily licking his shoes’ soles,
And how flagged him the rain coarse,
And how the fierce wind there wailed,
Or how it’d blown off his hat.
His looks of deepest desperation
Were all set on a single place
Without a move. The waves, impatient, 
Had risen there, like tallest crags,
Lifted from waked deeps in a madness,
There wreckage swam, there wailed a tempest …
O, God! O, God! – Right on that place,
Alas! so close to the waves,
And by the shores of the Gulf Finnish,
A willow-tree, a fence unfinished
And an old hut: there they must be –
A widow and her child Parasha –
His soul’s dream … Or does he see
It in a dream? … And, like the usher 
Of dreams – a sleep, is our life none –
Just Heavens make of Earth a fun?  

And he, like under conjuration,
Like in jail irons’ limitation,
Cannot come down. Him around
Only black waters could be found!
And turned to him with his back, proudest,
On height that never might be tossed,
Over Neva’s unending wildness,
Stands, with his arm, stretched to skies, lightless, 
The idol on his brazen horse. 


PART TWO

But now, sated with distraction
And tired of its rude attack,
Neva, at last, was coming back,
Looking at ruins with satisfaction
And leaving with a little attention
Its prey behind. A reprobate,
With his sever and low set,
Thus, thrusting in a village, helpless,
Breaks, slaughters, robs all and oppresses:
The roar, rape, swore, alert and wails!...
And, under their large booty posted,
Afraid of chases and exhausted,
The robbers speed to their old place,
Losing their loot along the road.

The waves were gone, the pavement, broad,
Was opened, and Evgeny, stressed, 
With heart half-dead and stifled throat,
In a hope, fear and awful pains,
Runs to the stream, just now restrained.
But, in the winning celebration,
Waves still were boiling with a passion,
As if to flames, under them fanned;
They still were with white foam covered,
And Neva’s breast was heavily moved,
Like the steed’s one after a race.
Evgeny sees a boat here;
He runs to it – a find, revered, –
He calls a boatman at once –
The boatman, a guy quite careless,
Just for ten kopeks, with great gladness,
Takes him into the waves’ wild dance.

And for a long with these waves, close,
The much trained rower was in fight,
And to sink deeply mid their rows,
The scuff, with its brave sailors both,
Was apt all time… The other side
Is reached, at last. And the frustrated
Runs through the so well-known street
To his old places. He doesn’t meet
A thing, he’d known. The view’s rated
As the worst one! All’s in a mess –
All is failed down or swept or stressed:
The little houses are bent down,
Some – shifted, some – razed to their ground
By awful forces of the waves;
The bodies, waiting for their graves,
Are lying round, like aft fight, merciless.
Our poor Evgeny – his mind’s flamed – 
Half-dead under the tortures, endless,
Runs there where the inhumane fate
Would give him the unknown message,
As if a letter, sealed to bear;
He’s now in the suburbs’ wreckage,
There is the Gulf, the house is near… 
But what is this? He stopped, frustrated,
Went back, returned a little later…
He looks… he walks … he looks once more.
There is the place their house for
And willow-tree. The gates were here –
They’re swept… But where’s the house, o grace? 
And full of troubles, hard to wear,
He walked and walked around the place. 
Told to himself in voices loud –
And suddenly, as if all’s found,
Struck his forehead and fell in laugh.
The night embraced the city, stuffed
With all its woe. And still for hours
A sleep was running from each house –
The folk recalling the past day.
Now, through the clouds, weak and pale,
The morn ray flashed o’er the mute city
And did not found e’en a trace
Of the past woe. The dawn, witty,
Had safely screened the doing, base.
The former life had got its place.
Along the streets now free of flooding,
With cold indifference, folks are moving.
Just having left his lodge of night,
The clerk is going at his site.
The petty tradesman, very dauntless, 
Is opening his cellar – wet, 
Robbed by the waves’ impudent set –
Intending to revenge his losses
On brothers-humans. From the yard
Is pulled the boat, full of mud.
Count Khvostov, a pet of Zeus,
Now is singing his songs, deathless,
To the Neva shores’ former plight.

What’s of Evgeny, our poor hero? …
Alas! His agitated mind,
Against the immense woe’s billow
Didn’t stand untouchable. The wind’s
And Neva’s noise was always growing 
In his poor ears. Mute and half-blind,
With awful thoughts, he was a-roaming, 
Being quite tortured by some dream.
A week, month passed by as a stream,
At his past home he wasn’t returning
And his landlord, when the rent’s time
Had gone, gave his corner to some
Bard, sunk in a poverty unduly.
Evgeny didn’t come for his stuff
And soon became a stranger, fully,
To world: his day wasn’t long enough
For walk; he slept on wharfs till morning
His bread was one a beggar has,
He wore the dirt and rotten dress.
The evil children, with cries joyful, 
Sometimes threw stones to his back,
Often the coachmen’ whips, wrathful,
Stung his thin body – for his track
Was cast without choosing direction –
He seemed to notice nothing else –
He was quiet deafened and oppressed
By noise of inner agitation. 
And thus he strayed in his life’s mist – 
Not humane being, nor some beast –
Not fish, nor flesh – not living creature,
Nor ghost of dead … But once he slept 
By Neva’s wharf – the summer’s features
Were now like autumn’s. The wind, bad,
Was breathing there. The roller, sad,
Was splashing its complain and groan
And striking ‘gainst the steps of stone,
Like the offended at the door
Of justice that doesn’t hear him more.
The poor waked up. All was gloom round:
Falling the rain, wind wailing loud,
And it was answered through the night
By some alone distant guard...
Evgeny got up in a hurry, 
He recollected his all flurry,
Stood on a spot, began to walk 
And stopped again, almost choked, 
Intently gazing him around
With a wild terror on his face... 
It seemed that he himself had found
By a big house where were placed,
With their paw up, as if quite living,
Two marble lions, overseeing,
And in the height, strait o’er him posed,
Over the rock, fenced with cast iron, 
With arm stretched into the skies, sullen, 
The idol sat on his bronze horse.

Evgeny startled. Became clear
The strange thoughts, torturing his mind –
He named the place where played the flood,
Where ran the waters-spoilers, fierce, – 
Merging in one rebellious stream, –
The lions, square and, at last, him,
Who stood without a move and sound –
The cooper head piercing black skies –
Him, by whose fatal enterprise
This city under sea took ground...
He’s awful in the nightly dark!
In what a thought his brow’s sunk!
What a great might in it lies, hidden!
And what a fire’s in this steed!
O, proud horse, where do you speed!
Where will you down your bronze hoofs, flittin’?
O, karma’s mighty sovereign!
Not thus you’d reared Russia, sullen,
Into the height, with a curb, iron,
Before an abyss in your reign?

The poor madman circled around
The foot of the black idol’s mass,
He gazed into the brazen face 
Of the half-planet’s ruler, proud.
And was his breast oppressed. He laid
On the cold barrier his forehead.
His eyes were veiled with a mist-cover,
His heart was all caught with a flame,
His blood seethed. Gloomy he became
Before the idol, looming over, 
And, having clenched his teeth and fist,
As if possessed by evil powers,
“Well, builder-maker of the marvels,”
He whispered, trembling in a fit,
“You only wait!...”- And to a street,
At once he started to run out –
He fancied: that the great tsar’s face,
With a wrath suddenly embraced,
Was turning slowly around...
And strait along the empty square
He runs and hears as if there were,
Just behind him, the peals of thunder,
Of the hard-ringing hoofs’ reminders, –
A race the empty square across,
Upon the pavement, fiercely tossed;
And by the moon, that palled lighter,
Having stretched his hand over roofs,
The Brazen Horseman rides him after –
On his steed of the ringing hoofs.
And all the night the madman, poor,
Where’er he might direct his steps,
Aft him the Bronze Horseman, for sure,
Keeps on the heavy-treading race.

And from this time, when he was going,
Along this square, only by chance,
A sense of terror was deforming 
His features. And he would then press
His hand to heart in a great fastness,
As if to make its tortures painless,
Take off the worn peaked cap at once,
Didn’t turn from earth his fearful eyes
And try to pass by.
                                  A small island’s
Seen in the sea quite near a shore.
A fisherman, the late catch for,
Would sail to it with his net, silent,
Sometimes – and boil there his soup, poor;
Or an official clerk would moor
To it in a boat-walking Sunday’s.
The empty isle. Seeds don’t beget
There any plant. A player, sightless,
The flood, had pulled there a ghost, sad, 
Of an old hut. The water over,
It had been left like a bush, black.
Last spring, by a small barging rover,
It was conveyed to the shore, back –
Destroyed and empty. By its entry,
They’d found the poor madman of mine
And, for a sake of the Divine, 
Buried his corpse in that soil, scanty. 


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, March, 2004 - March, 2005
© Copyright, poetryloverspage.com, 2004-2005

today’s birthday: Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799)


Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799)

Among the giants of Russian literature, Pushkin was a poet and writer whose masterpieces include the poem The Bronze Horseman, the drama The Stone Guest, and his verse novel Eugene Onegin, which contains witty descriptions of 19th-century Russian society. Pushkin established the modern poetic language of Russia, using Russian history for the basis of many works, but his career was cut short when he died after a duel with a young Frenchman. How old was he when he died? More… Discuss

quotation: Man is the unnatural animal, the rebel child of nature…” – H.G. Wells (1866-1946)


Man is the unnatural animal, the rebel child of nature, and more and more does he turn himself against the harsh and fitful hand that reared him.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) Discuss

quotation: I believe there’s no proverb but what is true; Miguel de Cervantes


I believe there’s no proverb but what is true; they are all so many sentences and maxims drawn from experience, the universal mother of sciences.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Discuss

quotation: George Eliot


Perhaps the most delightful friendships are those in which there is much agreement, much disputation, and yet more personal liking.

George Eliot (1819-1880) Discuss

Haiku – Stephen Hawking, poetic thought by George-B (the Smudge and Other poems)


 

Haiku – Stephen Hawking,
poetic thought by George-B

Time before our Time

was a pendulum at rest

waiting for Hawking

(the Smudge and Other poems)

thh

 

quotation: What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.


 

Quotation of the Day: Jane Austen

What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

 

This Pressed: Podcast: Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool – ProPublica Podcast


ProPublica Podcast

Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool

by Nicole Collins Bronzan

ProPublica, May 18, 2015, 11:01 a.m.

David Sleight/ProPublica

As a reporter who covered the National Security Agency before before the Edward Snowden documents brought it to the mainstream, Patrick Radden Keefe of The New Yorker says it would be easy to feel jealous of the journalists breaking those stories now. “But I’ve sort of moved on,” Keefe says, “and I watch those stories with great interest.”

This week he joins ProPublica’s Assistant Managing Editor Eric Umansky and Senior Reporter Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica for a podcast on what he’s been up to since his book “Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping.”

Highlights include discussion of:

  • How technology has in some ways degraded American spying efforts. “I think there’s been a kind of notion of the technical silver bullet that has greatly endangered privacy, but also undermined national security,” Keefe says. (1:54)
  • The way he chooses his subjects — sometimes on the news, but often not. (16:51)
  • The tension between daily, incremental reporting and magazine-style coverage. “When I have a piece come out, there will always be some snarky daily reporter who will say, sort of, ‘Nothing new here, folks!’ ” (18:36)
  • His recent New Yorker story on the long conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles, told through the story of Jean McConville, a former member of a secret Irish Republican Army unit who was abducted in front of her children in 1972. She was never seen again. (10:43)

Hear their conversation on SoundCloud and Stitcher, and read Keefe’s story “Where the Bodies Are Buried,” from the March 16 issue of The New Yorker.

via Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool – ProPublica. (Podcast)

quotation:…judgement shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision. Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)


The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgement shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) Discuss

today’s birthday: Omar Khayyám (1048)


Omar Khayyám (1048)

Khayyám was a Persian poet, mathematician, and astronomer. The details of his life are mostly conjectural, but he is known to have been a celebrated mathematician of his time. Yet, he is now best known for his Rubaiyat, a collection of epigrammatic verse quatrains whose hedonism often masks serious metaphysical reflections. It was little known in Europe until Edward FitzGerald’s loose English translations were published in 1859. What does the name Khayyám indicate about his lineage? More… Discuss

quotation: Kate Chopin


It is greater than the starsthat moving procession of human energy; greater than the palpitating earth and the things growing thereon.

Kate Chopin (1851-1904) Discuss

quotation: I needed some real danger and some mortal risk to run, to tranquilize me. Alexandre Dumas


I needed some real danger and some mortal risk to run, to tranquilize me.

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) Discuss