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: 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…

Not Just for Polyglots! Why You Should Try Writing in a Foreign Language

Foreign language? … Say what? Trust me, it’s not as crazy as it sounds, nor as far out of reach as you may think. Let me make one thing clear, right from the beginning: you don’t need to speak like a native, or even have advanced foreign language skills. You simply need to know enough to string together coherent … Read more…