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Parus (Парус) (English translation)

Parus (Парус)

Белеет парус одинокий
В тумане моря голубом...
Что ищет он в стране далёкой?
Что кинул он в краю родном?
 
Играют волны - ветер свищет,
И мачта гнётся и скрипит...
Увы, - он счастия не ищет
И не от счастия бежит!
 
Под ним струя светлей лазури,
Над ним луч солнца золотой
А он, мятежный, просит бури,
Как будто в бурях есть покой!
 
1832
 
Submitted by panaceapanacea on Mon, 11/04/2011 - 14:32
Last edited by Valeriu RautValeriu Raut on Fri, 06/09/2019 - 06:54
Submitter's comments:

ЛЕРМОНТОВ
Михаил Юрьевич
(1814 - 1841)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mec-_rTl2Ek

English translationEnglish
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The Sail (Rhyming)

A lonely sail is shining white
Against the ocean's azure foam!...
What hopes in distant lands incite
That lonely one to fly from home?
 
The ripples dance as flurries hiss,
The mast creaks softly in the haze...
Alas! for it does not seek bliss,
Nor is it bliss that it evades!
 
The sun throws out its golden arms
To touch the waves that bathe the breeze...
And that lone rebel begs for storms,
As though in storms there could be peace!
 
Submitted by RobinKRobinK on Tue, 16/12/2014 - 22:44
Last edited by RobinKRobinK on Thu, 04/01/2018 - 19:50
Author's comments:

© Robin Kallsen

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Comments
100wonders100wonders    Sat, 06/06/2015 - 21:15

Sounds very beautiful! Regular smile

My only issue with this translation is that it repeatedly refers to a man, whereas the original depicts a white sail drifting all by itself (as a powerful metaphor). Therefore, I think it would be a major improvement if these "human" references were replaced by something more neutral and impersonal (e.g., "loner" or simply "it").

RobinKRobinK    Sat, 06/06/2015 - 21:57

Yeah, I wanted to do that, since the poem deliberately avoids referring to an actual human, but I'm not that skillful Sad smile Perhaps someday I'll figure out how! The "man" thing was my #1 problem with this translation, but I've yet to find a good way to get rid of it.

Irina Zheleznova has a nice translation that preserves that aspect of the poem:

http://www.kulichki.com/poems/Poets/ml/Eng/ml_1.html

The only problem I have with her translation is that it takes a few liberties of word order that don't really work in English. I also wanted to preserve Lermontov's "Alas!" for dramatic effect.

Thanks so much for your helpful commentary! I have several other rhyming translations of Russian poetry listed, so if you get a chance to look at them, I'd love feedback on how I can make the translations more faithful to the originals. I'm especially concerned about my translation of Tsvetaeva's "To Akhmatova"; the poem itself is really hard for me to understand, but I still felt like translating it because it is so beautiful! I just don't want to be radically misrepresenting the content of the poems.

100wonders100wonders    Sun, 07/06/2015 - 00:02

Regular smile I hope I'm not taking too much liberty with your work if I suggest (as a rough draft) the following changes:

Line 4: This loner to quit his home?

Lines 5-6:
Alas! the loner seeks not bliss,
And bliss is not what it evades!

RobinKRobinK    Sun, 07/06/2015 - 01:44

Of course, all suggestions welcome! I'm not sure I'm totally keen on the word "loner" standing in for the subject, however... It has a bit of a high-school-loser connotation these days. Let's keep thinking on it though. The best would be to just use "it" like Lermontov does, but the rhyme and rhythm need to stay constant as well.

RobinKRobinK    Tue, 09/06/2015 - 21:59

Just incorporated your suggestion ... Let me know if it is an improvement!

(Previous version was ...

A lonely sail is shining white
Amid the ocean's azure foam.
What hopes in distant lands incite
A man to disregard his home?

The ripples dance as flurries hiss,
The mast creaks softly in the haze;
Alas! that man does not seek bliss,
Nor is it bliss that he evades!

The sun throws out its golden arms
To touch the waves that bathe the breeze,
And that lone rebel begs for storms,
As though in storms there could be peace! )

Thanks!

100wonders100wonders    Wed, 10/06/2015 - 19:20

I think your translation is just wonderful right now.
It perfectly captures the imagery of the original and sounds so beautiful!

Thank you for this fine piece of poetry Regular smile Regular smile

RobinKRobinK    Wed, 10/06/2015 - 23:18

Thank you for your suggestions!

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