Category Archives: Poets

Watch Valentina Lisitsa: F. Schubert Sonata A major # 20 D.959 Valentina Lisitsa Another exceptional interpretation, from the unequaled Valentina Lisitsa


F. Schubert Sonata A major # 20 D.959 Valentina Lisitsa

Published on Jul 25, 2016

Does it seem to you that the world has gone mad? Wars, bombings, killings, hate….
I can offer but a little remedy, an escape rather. Music equivalent of “slow TV”, something created not to excite our over-driven nerves, but to soothe, to lull, to put in ultimate trance, to make the time stand still and the troubles of outside world fade away, if only for a few minutes.
Nobody has done it better than my beloved Franz Schubert.
There is a famous quip about two musicians arguing over the merits ( or weaknesses) of Schubert late piano sonatas, one describing the unusual time span of the pieces as “the heavenly lengths”, another – replying “they aren’t that heavenly, they are just plain LENGTHS”.
Yes, Schubert is unique in a sense that he’s dispensed not only with customary time restrains established by the need to keep the listener “interested”, but also with the medley of rather theatrical “action heroes” prerequisite for a virtuoso performer to feel adequate 🙂 His music is not about heroes and villains, gods and devils.
His music is about you and I, about regular people living their lives, loving, longing, suffering, dying….all without the world taking notice and without the headlines.That’s the real charm and beguiling spell of his music – this is about us, the regular human beings, whom he understood better than any other composer.
You might not be able to fully enjoy this piece from the first try, or if you have your thoughts wondering around, thinking of million little things, looking for easy gratification of virtuoso finger-work and thunderous chords.
You will enjoy it if you allow yourself to surrender to this music, to its flow, as slow, smooth and spellbinding neurasthenia waters of mythical river Lethe, the river of forgetfulness and oblivion.

“J’ai trop vu,
trop senti,
trop aimé dans ma vie;
Je viens chercher vivant le calme du Léthé.”

“I have seen too much,
felt too much,
loved too much in my life;

I come to seek, still living,
the calm of Lethe.”

A.de Lamartine

00:00 1. Allegro
17:17 2. Andantino
26:14 3. Scherzo: Allegro vivace – Trio: Un poco più lento
31:20 4. Rondo: Allegretto – Presto.

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Questioning, by GeorgeB


Questioning,  by GeorgeB

I’m closing my eye, now,
Over the vast desert of the skies filled with shine…
Covered by the green grass, with a pillow…of sea grass…
I let my inner eye open…
to alert me…
                                        should
The rain will fall
The thunder clouds will explode
The snow will engulf me alive
The fire will not be extinguished in time
The earth will open
where I lay…
Oh God, what a good guardian you are…

Do I deserve your love?
———————————

(Copywright 2016,
The smudge and other poems page)

Watch “Leonard Cohen – A Thousand Kisses Deep” on YouTube



The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it’s done ?
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it?s real,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
You lose your grip, and then you slip
Into the Masterpiece.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep:
You ditch it all to stay alive,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

Confined to sex, we pressed against
The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
I made it to the forward deck.
I blessed our remnant fleet…
And then consented to be wrecked,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
I guess they won’t exchange the gifts
That you were meant to keep.
And quiet is the thought of you,
The file on you complete,
Except what we forgot to do,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat .

Watch “Leonard Cohen-In My Secret Life” on YouTube


https://youtu.be/ym3_m_Apfas
LEONARD COHEN LYRICS

“In My Secret Life”

I saw you this morning.
You were moving so fast.
Can’t seem to loosen my grip
On the past.
And I miss you so much.
There’s no one in sight.
And we’re still making love
In My Secret Life.

I smile when I’m angry.
I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do
To get by.
But I know what is wrong,
And I know what is right.
And I’d die for the truth
In My Secret Life.

Hold on, hold on, my brother.
My sister, hold on tight.
I finally got my orders.
I’ll be marching through the morning,
Marching through the night,
Moving cross the borders
Of My Secret Life.

Looked through the paper.
Makes you want to cry.
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die.
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it’s either black or white.
Thank G-d it’s not that simple
In My Secret Life.

I bite my lip.
I buy what I’m told:
From the latest hit,
To the wisdom of old.
But I’m always alone.
And my heart is like ice.
And it’s crowded and cold
In My Secret Life.

Hubert Rossel: Le livre / Transylvanie – Les églises fortifiées du pays des Sicules / Hubert Rossel


La « petite église » (Szent Katalin templom) de Gyergyóditró/ Ditrău, celle de Gyergyóalfalu/Joseni et celle de Csíkdelne/Delniţa sont toutes les trois parmi les 80 églises fortifiées à être analysées et replacées dans leur contexte historique dans le livre “Les églises fortifiées du pays des Sicules”… Pour plus d’informations on peut aussi se rendre sur le site http://eglises-fortifiees-sicules.prossel.net

TRANSYLVANIE – ERDÉLY – SIEBENBÜRGEN – TRANSYLVANIA

La Transylvanie a été choisie par les guides Lonely Planet comme la région la plus tendance pour un voyage en 2016. Parmi les différents points d’attraction de cette région figurent les églises fortifiées des communautés saxonne et sicule. De nombreux ouvrages existent en français pour présenter les églises saxonnes, les plus grandes et les plus connues. Mais il n’y en a qu’un seul en français pour parler des églises sicules et les remettre dans leur contexte historique et culturel : Transylvanie – Les églises fortifiées du pays des Sicules (http://eglises-fortifiees-sicules.prossel.net/). Songez-y lorsque vous préparez votre voyage, si vous compter aller dans cette région!
La photo ci-dessous présente l’église fortifiées de Zabola/Zăbala, dans le judeţ de Kovaszna/Covasna.

Transylvania has been selected by the Lonely Planet travel guidebooks as the first of the most likely areas for a trip in 2016. Of the various points of attraction of this area are the fortified churches of the Saxon and the Szekler communities. Many books exist in French to introduce the Saxon churches, the largest ones and best known. But there is only one in French to talk about the Szekler churches and put them in their historical and cultural context: Transylvanie – Les églises fortifiées du pays des Sicules. (http://eglises-fortifiees-sicules.prossel.net/). Consider this when planning your trip, if you plan to go to this region!
The picture below figures the Zabola/Zăbala fortified church, in the judeţ Kovaszna/Covasna
image

The Traitor, Leonard Cohen With Martha Wainright (from I’m Your Man Show)


New! Read & write lyrics explanations

  • Highlight lyrics and explain them to earn Karma points.

Now the swan it floated on the english river
Ah the rose of high romance it opened wide
A sun tanned woman yearned me through the summer
And the judges watched us from the other side

I told my mother “mother I must leave you
Preserve my room but do not she’d a tear
Should rumour of a shabby ending reach you
It was half my fault and half the atmosphere”

But the rose I sickened with a scarlet fever
And the swan I tempted with a sense of shame
She said at last I was her finest lover
And if she withered I would be to blame

The judges said you missed it by a fraction
Rise up and brace your troops for the attack
Ah the dreamers ride against the men of action
Oh see the men of action falling back

But I lingered on her thighs a fatal moment
I kissed her lips as though I thirsted still
My falsity had stung me like a hornet
The poison sank and it paralysed my will

I could not move to warn all the younger soldiers
That they had been deserted from above
So on battlefields from here to barcelona
I’m listed with the enemies of love

And long ago she said “i must be leaving,
Ah but keep my body here to lie upon
You can move it up and down and when I’m sleeping
Run some wire through that rose and wind the swan”

So daily I renew my idle duty
I touch her here and there — I know my place
I kiss her open mouth and I praise her beauty
And people call me traitor to my face

Watch “Doru Stanculescu – Hai, hai, haidi, hai (Pe sub flori ma leganai)” on YouTube


Ai, hai lyrics

Artist: Doru Stănculescu
Translations: English, French, German
Romanian
Ai, hai

N-a ști nimeni că m-am dus,
Numa’ m-or vedea că nu-s.

Sus e cerul, largă-i lumea,
Bine c-a-nfrunzit pădurea!

Ai, hai, ai, haidi, haidi, hai,
Pe sub flori mă legănai.

Sus e cerul, largă-i lumea,
N-a ști nimeni că m-am dus.

Bine c-a-nfrunzit pădurea,
Numa’ m-or vedea că nu-s

Ai, hai, ai, haidi, haidi, hai,
Pe sub flori mă legănai.

© 2008-2016 LyricsTranslate.com

Like a bridge over troubled waters (Simon and Garfunkel YouTube)


image

Like a bridge over troubled waters

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge over troubled water (with lyrics)

Ce- ti doresc eu tie dulce Romanie- Veta Biris


Ce- ti doresc eu tie dulce Romanie- Veta Biris

this day in the yesteryear: John Milton Publishes Areopagitica (1644)


John Milton Publishes Areopagitica (1644)

Best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, Milton, a 17th-century English poet, was also a writer of several political and moral pamphlets. More than two decades before his poetic masterpiece was published, Milton wrote Areopagitica, his best known prose work. One of the great arguments in favor of the freedom of the press, it was published in 1644 in response to his dissatisfaction with the strict censorship of the press exercised by Parliament. For what is the pamphlet named? More… Discuss

Haiku: biking, poetic thought by George-B (The smudge and other poems Page)


Haiku: biking, poetic thought by George-B.
The smudge and other poems Page

Left leg, right leg, left…
The bicycle is rolling…
right leg-left leg-right…

Bicycle ride

Bicycle ride


AMÁLIA canta ” AVÉ MARIA FADISTA ” de Gabriel de Oliveira e Música: Vianinha

Historic musical bits: #PrayersForParis Imagine – The Beatles – John Lennon


Imagine – The Beatles – John Lennon

today’s birthday: Esaias Tegnér (1782)


Esaias Tegnér (1782)

Tegnér was the most popular of the Swedish romantic poets. An optimistic nationalist in his youth, he wrote the militant anti-Russian Svea and Axel, followed by Frithjof’s Saga, which is based on collections of Scandinavian sagas and is considered the masterpiece of the Swedish Gothic tradition. The son of a pastor and a bishop himself, his sermons and speeches are classics of the Swedish language. Subject to periods of madness, he composed what epic poem in an asylum? More… Discuss

Original Best of Leonard Cohen (1975 compilation)


Original Best of Leonard Cohen (1975 compilation)

Access here: The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection


The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection

LibriVox – founded in 2005 – is a community of volunteers from all over the world who record public domain texts: poetry, short stories, whole books, even dramatic works, in many different languages. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain in the USA and available as free down

The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection

The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection (Click to access the Website!)

today’s birthday: John Keats (1795)


John Keats (1795)

Considered one of the greatest English poets, Keats worked as a surgeon’s apprentice before devoting himself entirely to poetry at age 21. During a few intense months in 1819, he produced many of his greatest works, including “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” and “To Autumn.” His Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems is perhaps the greatest single volume of poetry published in England in the 19th century. Tragically, Keats died at just 25 from what disease? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772)


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772)

One of the most versatile and influential figures in the English Romantic movement, Coleridge was a poet and critic who perfected a sensuous lyricism in his poetry that was echoed by many later poets. His most famous works include “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan.” Known for his influential lectures on Shakespeare, he later wrote Biographia Literaria, the most significant work of general literary criticism of the Romantic period. To what drug was Coleridge addicted? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Virgil (70 BCE)


Virgil (70 BCE)

Virgil was a Roman poet and the author of the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the Aeneid, widely regarded as one of the greatest long poems in world literature. The Aeneid, Rome’s national epic, tells the legendary story of the Trojan hero Aeneas, whose descendants become the founders of Rome. What later poet portrayed Virgil as the guide to Hell in his great literary classic The Divine Comedy? More… Discuss

Poezii care vor trai intotdeauna: Vasile Alecsandri – Mioriţa


Vasile Alecsandri – Mioriţa

Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right – Bob Dylan


Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right – Bob Dylan

Georges Brassens: La Parapluie


Published on Feb 20, 2013

Je tenais a partager l’amour que j’ai pour cet artiste et cette chanson.

Paroles:

Il pleuvait fort sur la grand-route,
Elle cheminait sans parapluie,
J’en avait un, volé sans doute
Le matin même à un ami.
Courant alors à sa rescousse,
Je lui propose un peu d’abri
En séchant l’eau de sa frimousse,
D’un air très doux elle m’a dit oui.
Un petit coin de parapluie,
Contre un coin de Paradis.
Elle avait quelque chose d’un ange,
Un petit coin de Paradis,
Contre un coin de parapluie.
Je ne perdait pas au change,
Pardi!
Chemin faisant que se fut tendre
D’ouïr à deux le chant joli
Que l’eau du ciel faisait entendre
Sur le toit de mon parapluie.
J’aurais voulu comme au déluge,
voir sans arrêt tomber la pluie,
Pour la garder sous mon refuge,
Quarante jours, Quarante nuits.
Un petit coin de parapluie,
Contre un coin de Paradis.
Elle avait quelque chose d’un ange,
Un petit coin de Paradis,
Contre un coin de parapluie.
Je ne perdait pas au change,
Pardi!
Mais bêtement, même en orage,
Les routes vont vers des pays.
Bientôt le sien fit un barrage
A l’horizon de ma folie.
Il a fallut qu’elle me quitte,
Après m’avoir dit grand merci.
Et je l’ai vue toute petite
Partir gaiement vers mon oubli.
Un petit coin de parapluie,
Contre un coin de Paradis.
Elle avait quelque chose d’un ange,
Un petit coin de Paradis,
Contre un coin de parapluie.
Je ne perdait pas au change,
Pardi!

Georges Brassens: La Prière Paroles Par Francis Jammes


La Prière Paroles
Par Francis Jammes

Par le petit garçon qui meurt près de sa mère
Tandis que des enfants s’amusent au parterre
Et par l’oiseau blessé qui ne sait pas comment
Son aile tout à coup s’ensanglante et descend
Par la soif et la faim et le délire ardent
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par les gosses battus, par l’ivrogne qui rentre
Par l’âne qui reçoit des coups de pied au ventre
Et par l’humiliation de l’innocent châtié
Par la vierge vendue qu’on a déshabillée
Par le fils dont la mère a été insultée
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par la vieille qui, trébuchant sous trop de poids
S’écrie: ” Mon Dieu ! ” par le malheureux dont les bras
Ne purent s’appuyer sur une amour humaine
Comme la Croix du Fils sur Simon de Cyrène
Par le cheval tombé sous le chariot qu’il traîne
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par les quatre horizons qui crucifient le monde
Par tous ceux dont la chair se déchire ou succombe
Par ceux qui sont sans pieds, par ceux qui sont sans mains
Par le malade que l’on opère et qui geint
Et par le juste mis au rang des assassins
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par la mère apprenant que son fils est guéri
Par l’oiseau rappelant l’oiseau tombé du nid
Par l’herbe qui a soif et recueille l’ondée
Par le baiser perdu par l’amour redonné
Et par le mendiant retrouvant sa monnaie
Je vous salue, Marie.
**********************************************************

Francis Jammes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

 
Francis Jammes.

Francis Jammes (French pronunciation: ​[ʒam];[1] born 2 December 1868 in Tournay, Hautes-Pyrénées – died 1 November 1938 in Hasparren, Pyrénées-Atlantiques) was a French poet. He spent most of his life in his native region of Béarn and the Basque Country and his poems are known for their lyricism and for singing the pleasures of a humble country life (donkeys, maidens). His later poetry remained lyrical, but also included a strong religious element brought on by his “conversion” to Catholicism (more a return to the faith as he had always been a Catholic).

Biography

He was a mediocre student and failed his baccalauréat with a zero for French.[1]

 
Francis Jammes by Jean Veber

The young author’s first poems began to be read in Parisian literary circles around 1895, and they were appreciated for their fresh tone which broke considerably from symbolist tendencies of the period. Jammes fraternised with other writers, including André Gide (with whom he travelled to Algeria in 1896), Stéphane Mallarmé and Henri de Régnier. His most famous collection of poems — De l’angélus de l’aube à l’angélus du soir (“From morning Angelus to evening Angelus”) — appeared in 1897 in the Mercure de France; Le Deuil des Primevères (“The Mourning of Primulas”) (1901) was also well received. While working up to that point as a notary’s clerk, the author was thenceforth able to live from his writings. In 1905 Francis Jammes, influenced by the poet Paul Claudel with whom he became close, “converted” to Catholicism (in actuality a return to being a practicing Catholic)[1] and his poetry became more austere and occasionally more dogmatic.

In the eyes of Parisian literary circles, Francis Jammes was generally considered a solitary provincial who chose to live a life of retreat in his mountainous Pyrenees, and his poems never became entirely fashionable. The author sought nomination to the Académie française several times, but was never elected.

Jammes was the original author of Georges Brassens‘s song La Prière (“The Prayer”). The lyrics were taken from the poem Les Mystères douloureux (“The Agonies of Christ”) published in the collection L’Église habillée de feuilles (“The Church Clothed in Leaves”) (1906); Brassens changed some of the words to make the text more rhythmic.

Jammes was known to have an ardent passion for field sports, especially game hunting. He was known to have also been a believer in the conservation of endangered species.

Thirteen poems from his cycle Tristesses (“Sorrows”), were set to music by composer Lili Boulanger in 1914 under the title Clairières dans le ciel (“Clearings in the Sky”) a title Jammes had given to an assorted collection of poetry of which Tristesses was a part. The whole cycle was composed for soprano, flute and piano by Michel Bosc.

Works: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29523

 

MUSIC DIVINE: Gabriel Fauré – In Paradisum – Requiem in D Minor Op. 48


Gabriel Fauré – In Paradisum – Requiem in D Minor Op. 48

quotation: The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others. Homer


The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.

Homer (900 BC-800 BC) Discuss

*Let the sun fall down* Kim Richey


*Let the sun fall down* Kim Richey

Song: A Place Called Home, by: Kim Richey 2002


Published on Oct 26, 2013

Lyric Video
Song: A Place Called Home
By: Kim Richey

La Prière – Georges Brassens (1965) (“Je vous salut Marie…”)


La Prière – Georges Brassens (1965)

Léo Ferré – Avec le temps


Léo Ferré – Avec le temps 

Et Si Tu N’Existais Pas – Joe Dassin Lyrics


Et Si Tu N’Existais Pas – Joe Dassin Lyrics

Jacques Brel – Ne Me Quitte Pas


Jacques Brel – Ne Me Quitte Pas

today’s birthday: Constantijn Huygens (1596)


Constantijn Huygens (1596)

Constantijn Huygens was a Dutch humanist and poet and the father of famed scientist Christiaan Huygens. His descriptive and satirical poems were highly esteemed, and both English and French monarchs knighted him in recognition of his genius. Thousands of his letters have survived to this day and attest to his wide acquaintance with contemporary scholars, including Descartes and Donne. Huygens was also an accomplished musician and composer. How old was he when he died? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809)


Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809)

The father of the US Supreme Court justice of the same name, Holmes was an American physician, poet, and humorist. After beginning his medical career as a general practitioner, he shifted to the academic field and became dean of the Harvard medical school. However, he is perhaps best known for the poem that won him national acclaim—”Old Ironsides,” a protest against the scrapping of the USS Constitution, which helped save the ship. What common medical term was coined by Holmes? More… Discuss

quotation: Reproach is infinite, and knows no end. Homer (900 BC-800 BC)


Reproach is infinite, and knows no end.

Homer (900 BC-800 BC) 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

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 )

Haiku – Words, poetic thought by George-G (The Smudge ans other poems) (“Words know the meaning…”)


Haiku – Words, poetic thought by George-G
(The Smudge ans other poems)

Words know the Story,
what has been, is, will be.
Words – learn the meaning.

©By George -B

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