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Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXIV): Mikhail LERMONTOV (1814-1841) RUSSIA: “The Sail”, “Pânzele Albe”

February 14th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXIV): Ivan LERMONTOV (1814-1841) RUSSIA: “The Sail”, “Pânzele Albe”



The Sail
Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841)

A lonely sail is flashing white
Amidst the blue mist of the sea!…
What does it seek in foreign lands?
What did it leave behind at home?..

Waves heave, wind whistles,
The mast, it bends and creaks…
Alas, it seeks not happiness
Nor happiness does it escape!

Below, a current azure bright,
Above, a golden ray of sun…
Rebellious, it seeks out a storm
As if in storms it could find peace!

Source credit: http://lyricstranslate.com/en/beleet-parus-odinokii-beleet-parus-odinokii-sail.html

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Pânzele Albe
Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841)

O barcă cu pânze, sclipeşte în valuri,
Când marea albastră luceşte în zori.
Mă-ntreb, ea ce cată pe ţărmuri străine?
Mă-ntreb, oare-acasă, lăsat-a vre-un dor?

Furtuna loveşte în valuri cu bice.
Catargul înclină acum mai vârtos.
Când vântul mă-mpinge în neagra gheenă,
Mă-ntreb, Mântuirea-mi va fi de folos?

Când în albastrul, de-azur, orizont
Soarele-apare aşa minunat,
Oare de ce m-a împins a mea soartă
Spre mii de primejdii să fi înfruntat?

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN,
© 2016 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

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SHORT BIO: Mikhail Lermontov (1814 –  1841) a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called “the poet of the Caucasus”, the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin‘s death in 1837 and the greatest figure in Russian Romanticism. His influence on later Russian literature is still felt in modern times, not only through his poetry, but also through his prose, which founded the tradition of the Russian psychological novel (apud Wikipedia).

FOOTNOTE: I remember Lermontov’s poem from my early education in Romania, during the twilight of Stalinist dictatorship. Teaching of Russian was compulsory and a daily staple diet in schools. Yet deep down, for me, as a child, Russian was the language of the Oppressor, force-feeding us on an alien staple diet. Still, during these times of dark memory, Lermontov’s poem, “The Sail” was a solitary, if an unlikely, breeze of fresh air.

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