Monday, March 02, 2015

Amethysts - Innokenty Annensky

Every once in a while it occurs to me that there need to be more translations of Annensky poems available online. Innokenty Annensky was a prominent Symbolist who had a great deal of influence on Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, and Mandelstam. I've tinkered here with a translation I found by Evgeny Bonver (but couldn't understand, so I found the original and re-translated it), and hopefully clarified the poem a bit.


My eyes forgot the blue of heaven.
Gold, to them, is not the sun's dust,
But I live and dream in one plane alone,
Between the facets of the amethyst.

For there, drunker than young spring
And more troubling than an idea,
These violet fires are forced to gleam,
their colors cooling, blending here.      

To the heart, where were only pain and shame,
No dream is more tender and deceiving:
Than to be a crystal near a candle's flame,                
To be as violet frost glimmering.

--Innokenty Annensky

Глаза забыли синеву,

Им солнца пыль не золотиста,
Но весь одним я сном живу,
Что между граней аметиста.

Затем, что там пьяней весны
И беспокойней, чем идея,
Огни лиловые должны
Переливаться, холодея.

И сердцу, где лишь стыд да страх,
Нет грезы ласково-обманней,
Чем стать кристаллом при свечах
В лиловом холоде мерцаний.

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