Description: This is a translation, that I did, of the Russian text. It is by no means perfect, but the idea -- if not the weight -- of Pushkin's words can definitely be gotten. This particular poem lacks a title, lest one proposes that '1829' is indeed what it was called. For the purposes of this translation, though, that is what it shall be referred to as.
Alexander Pushkin is considered one of the greatest Russian poets of all time, and one of his most famous work, Eugene Onegin -- a novel of over 200 pages written entirely in verse, has been translated into the English by -- among others -- Vladimir Nabokov, made into an opera by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and in 1999 made into a movie starring Ralph Finnes. Among his other works are The Bronze Horseman and The Stone Guest, both hailed as resounding masterpieces by critics.
The problem with many translations, is that they do not take into account the rhyme scheme of the poem. And consequently, to many readers of the English translations, the original indended rhyme scheme is lost. In this translation, I attempted to stay true to the original format of the poem. Please enjoy, but do not take it too seriously, as I am not a professional translator by any means.
1829 by A. Pushkin (Translation from Russian) -------------------------------------------
1829 by Alexander Pushkin (Translation from the Russian)
Walk I down noisy city streets,
Enter cathedrals bearing many thrones,
Or sit among the brain dead youth – no feat,
Submit I always to my thoughts alone.
Say I, years will pass by in minutes,
And though it seems our lives have not yet passed,
No time exists to gather all the trinkets,
As someone’s hour has all but elapsed.
Look I upon this solitary oak,
And think it patriarch of the woods,
Outlive will it the age of which the old men spoke,
And certainly the time in which I will have stood.
Caress if I with my hand a newborn child
Farewell I must to him invariably bid
And to him my place in this world give,
So while he prospers, the devil of me my life will rid.
No day, no year, has yet gone by—
In which my past I do not recollect,
And try from it to guess the year in which I’ll die,
And when the memories the Great One will collect.
And where will fate bring death to me?
In battle? Or in travels? On the sea?
Or will a not-too-distant valley
Receive what little’s left of me?
And though my body, dead and lifeless,
Cares not where it is laid to rot,
To the old countryside, still and listless,
Object, I’ll definitely not.
For while my grave, long it’s been buried,
The life above it, young, will play
And that impartial, careless soul unstirred,
Will keep on shining past the body’s dying day.
Pushkin , "the russian shakespierre" very impresive. Im very jelous, I wish I could learn latin, or french to translate some of my favorite writters or even read them in their own words. Dante, or Baulalaire for me would be hevenly.
Anyways, I was wondering why you transposed many of the first lines, I imagine it was because he did it in russian, but it would read much easier if it wasnt, as that is how we talk, obviously.
Walk I down noisy city streets, I walk down noisy...
Look I upon this solitary oak I look upon this solitary oak.
I dunno, I am no translater, but it seems at least, better that way to me.
I did really enjoy this though. It is quite a piece. And I greatly applaude your enterprise here, brave and grand an enterprise. Cheers. Lefty.