Get a feeling of Nikolay Gumilyov’s poetry

Nikolay Gumilyov was a prominent Russian poet. In April of 1910 he married Anna Akhmatova.

I’ll tell you more about Anna and Nikolay in another post.

Below is one of his poems.

Nikolay Gumilev

TO A POET

Let verse of yours be flexible, but strong,
Strong as a poplar under valley’s cover,
Strong as the earth under a plough, long,
Strong as a girl, who never knew a lover.

Reliably preserve severity at length,
Your verse need not be fluttering or booming,
Although the Muse has very easy steps,
She’s not a dancer, but a goddess, ruling.

Frolicsome din of interrupted rhymes —
Temptation for decline, so free and so easy —
Just leave for use by jokers in a dance
On city streets for people who aren’t busy.

And going out on the sacred paths,
Bring to melodiousness your chosen damnation.
You know, she’s a mistress of the mass,
She craves embraces, as a dearth — donations.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver

“I will not be young again…”?

Below is one of my favorite poems by Sergei Yesenin. He wrote it when he was 25 years old.

I am 80 years old now and I feel that I am still young. My views changed drastically since I read this poem first time and now I doubt that “I will not be young again”.

*******************************************************************************************************

I do not regret, and I do not shed tears,

All, like haze off apple-trees, must pass.

Turning gold, I’m fading, it appears,

I will not be young again, alas.

*

Having got to know the touch of coolness

I will not feel, as before, so good.

And the land of birch trees, – oh my goodness!-

Cannot make me wander barefoot.

*

Vagrant’s spirit! You do not so often

Stir the fire of my lips these days.

Oh my freshness, that begins to soften!

Oh my lost emotions, vehement gaze!

*

Presently I do not feel a yearning,

Oh, my life! Have I been sleeping fast?

Well, it feels like early in the morning

On a rosy horse I’ve galloped past.

*

We are all to perish, hoping for some favour,

Golden leaves flow down turning grey.

May you be redeemed and blessed for ever,

You who came to bloom and pass away…

Sergei Yesenin

*

My painting #13

My painting #13

“You don’t love me…”

Below is a poem of Sergei Yesenin written on December 4, 1925.

I read it many times when I was in school and college. There were several popular songs with this lyrics.

Only years later I understood the depth of this poem, the depth of his sufferings.

Sergei Yesenin died on December 28, 1925.

*********************************************************************************************************

You don’t love me and don’t feel compassion.

Don’t you think that now I look my best?

Though you look aside you’re thrilled with passion

As you put your arms upon my chest.

*

You are young, so sensitive and zealous,

I am neither bad nor very good to you.

Tell me, did you pet a lot of gentle fellows?

You remember many arms and lips. You do.

*

They are gone and haven’t touched you any,

Gone like shadows, leaving you aflame.

You have sat upon the laps of many,

You are sitting now on mine, without shame.

*

Though your eyes are closed, and you are rather

Thinking of some one you really trust,

After all, I do not love you either,

I am lost in thought about my dear past.

*

Don’t you call this zeal predestination?

Hasty tie is thoughtless and no good, –

Like I set up this unplanned connection,

I will smile when leaving you for good.

*

You will go the pathway of your own

Just to have your days unwisely spent,

Don’t approach the ones not fully grown,

Don’t entice the ones that never burnt.

*

When you walk with someone down the alley

Chatting merrily about love and all

Maybe, I’ll be out, walking round shyly,

And again, by chance, I’ll meet you, poor soul.

*

Squaring shoulders, ravishing and winning,

Bending forward, with an air kiss,

You will utter quietly: Good evening!

And I will reply: Good evening, miss.

*

Nothing will disturb my heart and spirit,

Nothing will perturb me giving pain,-

He who’s been in love will not retrieve it,

He who’s burnt will not be lit again.

*

December 4th, 1925

Get a feeling of Sergei Yesenin’s poetry

Sergei Yesenin

Sergei Yesenin

I decided to write a short story about Sergei Yesenin, a great Russian poet. I love images and music of his poems from my childhood.

Once he met a girl. Her name was Isadora Duncan. Then his life drastically changed. I am going to write about it later.

In the meantime I want you to get a feeling of Sergei’s poetry

Below is one of his poem translated by Alec Vagapov.

Please let me know if you like it.

***************************************************************************************************

We’ll depart this world forever, surely,

To repose in peace and quite. Oh, my Lord!

Maybe, I shall also have to duly

Pack my things preparing for the road.

*

Oh, my birch-tree woods! Amazing pictures!

Oh, my dear land! My sandy plains!

In the face of crowds of mortal creatures

I’m unable to conceal my pains.

*

I’ve been filled with love and admiration

For the things embodying the soul.

Peace to aspens, lost in contemplation,

Spreading branches, staring at the shoal!

*

I have thought in silence days and hours,

I have written songs. And I don’t grieve.

I am happy in this gloomy world of ours

To have had a chance to breathe and live.

*

I am happy, I have kissed a woman,

I have slept in grass and flower-bed,

And I never, like a decent human,

Hit a dog or kitten in the head.

*

The unknown land! No blooming pictures!

No amazing fields of wheat, so fine!

Hence, before the crowds of mortal creatures

I have always shivers down the spine.

*

In that land, I know, there won’t be any

Fields of wheat that shine like gold at night

That’s the reason why I love those many

Living with me in this country-side.

************************************************************************************************