Monday, October 27, 2014

The Golden Grove (Sergei Yesenin, sung by Oleg Pogudin)



“I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never be conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning. Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil, struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.”


― Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate




The Golden Grove (Sergei Yesenin, sung by Oleg Pogudin)

The grove of golden trees has fallen silent,
Shorn of its gay leaves, in mute silhouette,
And so the cranes in sad file past it flying
Have no cause any more to feel regret.

For whom, for what? We are all rovers, starting
Out, coming home awhile, then traveling on.
The hemp field's dreaming of all who departed
And there's a full moon gazing at the pond.

I stand alone, the bare expanses viewing,
While on the wind the cranes are borne away.
Remembrance of my merry youth pursuing,
I find nothing I would relive today.

I don't regret the years that I have wasted,
I don't regret the lilac time of life.
A rowan fire is in the orchard blazing
But none shall from its brightness warmth derive.

Red rowan-berry clusters cannot scorch you,
The grasses will now yellow and decline.
As leaves fall softly from a tree in autumn
So I let fall these mournful words of mine.

And if time with its breezy broom should pile them
Into a heap to burn without regret…
Just say this … that the golden grove fell silent,
Shorn of its leaves, in pensive silhouette.

Отговорила роща золотая
Березовым, веселым языком,
И журавли, печально пролетая,
Уж не жалеют больше ни о ком.
Кого жалеть? Ведь каждый в мире странник -
Пройдет, зайдет и вновь оставит дом.
О всех ушедших грезит коноплянник
С широким месяцем над голубым прудом.
Стою один среди равнины голой,
А журавлей относит ветер в даль,
Я полон дум о юности веселой,
Но ничего в прошедшем мне не жаль.
Не жаль мне лет, растраченных напрасно,
Не жаль души сиреневую цветь.
В саду горит костер рябины красной,
Но никого не может он согреть.
Не обгорят рябиновые кисти,
От желтизны не пропадет трава,
Как дерево роняет тихо листья,
Так я роняю грустные слова.
И если время, ветром разметая,
Сгребет их все в один ненужный ком…
Скажите так… что роща золотая
Отговорила милым языком.
1924

Translation from Russian Legacy.

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