Sunday, July 19, 2015

Silentium! - Fyodor Tyuchev

One poem, written by Fyodor Tyuchev around 1830, is depicted here in two translations alongside the original, resulting in three distinct microcosms which contain the potential to illuminate the path of a singular quest.


Be silent, hide yourself:
In the still spirit;
hoard those hauntings
And let their coming
Be like the speechlessness of stars
By night-time waking, rising, homing.

What temerity may sound
Another's depth, survey its ground?
Utter your thoughts.
They flow in lies. Dig down;
You cloud the spring that feeds the silences.

Learn to live in yourself. There
Thought on thought,
Fretful of glare and stir,
Begets its untold transmutations
And their song
Only in silence may you hear.

(Translator: C. Tomlinson. From Russian Poets: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets.)


Be silent, hide away and let
your thoughts and longings rise and set
in the deep places of your heart.
Let dreams move silently as stars,
in wonder more than you can tell.
Let them fulfill you – and be still.

What heart can ever speak its mind?
How can some other understand
the hidden pole that turns your life?
A thought, once spoken, is a lie.
Don’t cloud the water in your well;
drink from this wellspring – and be still.

Live in yourself. There is a whole
deep world of being in your soul,
burdened with mystery and thought.
The noise outside will snuff it out.
Day’s clear light can break the spell.
Hear your own singing – and be still.

 (From The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, edited by Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski, published by Penguin Classics .)


Молчи, скрывайся и таи
И чувства и мечты свои —
Пускай в душевной глубине
Встают и заходя́т оне
Безмолвно, как звезды́ в ночи, —
Любуйся ими — и молчи.

Как сердцу высказать себя?
Другому как понять тебя?
Поймёт ли он, чем ты живёшь?
Мысль изрече́нная есть ложь.
Взрывая, возмутишь ключи, —
Питайся ими — и молчи.

Лишь жить в себе самом умей —
Есть целый мир в душе твоей
Таинственно-волшебных дум;
Их оглуши́т наружный шум,
Дневные разгоня́т лучи, —

Внимай их пенью — и молчи!..



Harlequin said...

I often read how the nuances of differing languages make for difficulties in translation.
Only speaking one language, I often find my time engaged enough in disiphering my own language.

On the trials and tribulations of translation, this I read but recently. It is a lengthy piece but worth I hope of persiverance to illuminate the pit-falls of such things?

A thought providing post !

Iulia Flame said...

I appreciate you leaving this link for me, Harlequin. It is true that translating can be a bit like the game of Chinese Telephone.

And yet, there remains the challenge to convey the essence of a poem from language to language, if only because

"Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard. Are sweeter..."

the song of a shell sapphire melting inside jade a color unnamed Ofra Haza's version of this song defies categoriz...

popular on this site