Marina Tsvetaeva’s Rowan Berry Poem, Translated from Russian

Rowan Berry Poem - Marina Tsvetaeva - Russian to English translation

I promised Facebook I would, and so it is done! Presenting a Russian-to-English translation of this brief but beautiful poem by famed Silver Age poet Marina Tsvetaeva: You can listen to a nice reading of it here. I loved this poem as soon as I saw the word рябина (ryabina) — rowan. Besides the Siberian birch, which … Read more…

Translated Poem: Afanasy Fet’s “I’ll say nothing…”

Night flowers

Ever had feelings for someone, and you just couldn’t work up the nerve to tell them? Or worse, you tried to hide that you liked them at all? Today’s poem, written by the 19th-century Russian poet Afanasy Fet, expresses that feeling with poignant simplicity and elegance. I tried to preserve as much of that tone as … Read more…

Translated Poem: A Selection from Pushkin’s “Autumn”

Alexander Pushkin - Autumn

Okay, so, whatever our differences may be, Alexander Pushkin and I have at least this one thing in common: our favorite season is fall. That is, осень, or osen’, in Russian. Let Tyutchev have his spring … what’s not to love about the leaves turning gold, red, and orange — the air turning crisp and … Read more…

Lermontov Translated Goethe, And I Can’t Not Share It

YES, FOLKS, I am very-geekily-excited to have discovered that Mikhail Lermontov — the Russian Romantic poet who wrote A Hero of Our Time — composed a free translation of J. W. von Goethe‘s famous short poem “Wandrers Nachtlied II” (aka “Über allen Gipfeln…”)! (Anyone who has taken formal German classes should recognize that!) Goethe’s poem has left … Read more…

A Poem for the Season of Exaltation: Zhukovsky’s “The Lark”

A Poem for the Season of Exaltation: Vasily Zhukovsky's "The Lark"

I confess I’m not much into spring poetry. The idea that spring is the season of poets is a super-cliché, and in my case, it’s not all that accurate. For me, fall and winter are the poetic seasons. They’re the times of introspection and reflection — of turning inward. Spring and summer are the seasons … Read more…