Жена ( Zhena) (English translation)

English translation

My wife

You took away my pain as if by magic
when I could no longer bear it,
and lent me your wings without a word
when I could no longer fly.
When I could no longer breathe
you instilled spring into me,
and though my faith grew thinner
if nothing else, I kept believing in you.
My dream was dying
and yet again you stood by my side
and helped me to soar again
after I fell down to the ground.
And in these moments of great loss
when I almost had to start all over again
I stood up, knowing that from now on
I would feel your ground under my feet.
You are not a victorious war
but the only eternal victory.
You are not a renowned land
but the only planet there is.
You are hope and silence,
a wall against pain and lies.
You came from a dream and stayed,
my wife, my wife, my wife.
Come and fly with me
over the hundred paths of fate.
I feel alive with you, and with you I would like
to fly over a thousand more.
In this world covered in snow and empty words,
in this sky torn by windstorms,
would that the star of your love
kept shining for me forever.
You are not a victorious war
but the only eternal victory.
You are not a renowned land
but the only planet there is.
You are hope and silence,
a wall against pain and lies.
You came from a dream and stayed,
my wife, my wife, my wife.
You are not a victorious war,
you are not a renowned land
but the only planet there is.
You are hope and silence,
a wall against pain and lies.
You came from a dream and stayed,
my wife, my wife, my wife.
Submitted by Guest on Wed, 23/05/2018 - 20:18
Added in reply to request by Antonia Sineglazaya
Author's comments:

Thanks a lot to Maria for the initial help, and a few others for the finishing touches.


Жена ( Zhena)

Igeethecat    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 15:03

непризнанная страна -> unrecognized country
Unfamiliar = незнакомая

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 19:49

Mmm... I see there is a difference, but I don't know how to put it in English.
"unrecognized" would rather sound like a rogue state not recognized by other nations, I guess.
"unexplored" maybe?

Igeethecat    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:13

Unasknowledged, uncelebrated, unrewarded, unheeded, etc.?

Brat    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:04

Ты непризнанная страна.
А единственная планета -> In such contradistinctive constructions, according to the Russian grammar there should be "не признанная".
So, it will be "You are not a recognized state, but the only planet".

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:05

So it's really about a state not being recognized by other states? I must say that metaphor sounds a bit odd to me.

Brat    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:12

Maidanov is a rich source of odd metaphors... Wink smile

St. Sol    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:24

Just because someone combined words in a grammatically correct way doesn't mean that there is any substance behind them. That's the state of modern music today, unfortunately.

Brat    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:19

But perhaps. Would you like your wife to be 'recognized' by other ' states'?

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:22

Haha ok, but that kind of perilous associations would probably be lost in translation.

Ivan U7n    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:22

You are not just a well-known land, / but the only (whole bloody) planet.
Or at last so I read it. Wink smile

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:24

Ok, I'll let you natives come to an agreement on what this mysterious adjective is supposed to mean and then I'll try to pick an English equivalent. What do you make of that? Regular smile

Ivan U7n    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:34

I see these two line the same way as the previous two.
Ты не выигранная война, = You are not just a victory (in something)
А одна навсегда победа. = But the eternal victory (like no more loses).
Ты не признанная страна. = You are not just a land (or country, or whatever piece of land that is well-known)
А единственная планета. = But the planet (worth knowing about)
Well, it is my take on this somewhat bizarre stanza. Regular smile

Igeethecat    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:31

Я так понимаю, что она для него - не отдельно взятая страна, а целая планета
И не опошляйте «взятая» Wink smile

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:36

that would be "no specific country, but the whole planet" or something like that?
That seems to agree with Ivan's explanation too.

St. Sol    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:39

И куда-то плывут,
Бетонные стены
Куда-то плывут.
Я смотрю в окно,
А за окном -
Белые столбы!
I hope that explains it Regular smile

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:41

Well, after some hard thinking, that might. I'll let you know if I manage to crack the code Teeth smile

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:49

Well, my preliminary findings indicate that Russian lyrics are a bit out of my reach. Like these white poles, maybe?
I managed to understand a few songs of Grigoryan's, or at least so I think, but clearly not this one.

sandring    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 19:21

Don't worry, Pierre. I'll crack the code for you. "Belye Stolby" or "White Poles" is the name of a railway station out of Moscow and the postal address for a large notorious mental home where the Communist regime sent dissidents. It has become a nick for madness and delirium. If you take a closer look at the lyrics you'll see they are incoherent, an outburst of spontaneous phrases. But at the end of the verse, you'll see the explanation "Belye Stolby", i.e. sheer delirium.

petit élève    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 20:52

Well, I could have kept searching for a while. Now that I have a better idea of what the song is about, I only need to understand the connection with this translation Regular smile

St. Sol    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 21:03

An incoherent outburst - that was the connection Regular smile

petit élève    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 21:05

Oh well, that sounds a bit odd, but I wouldn't send the guy to the loony bin just for that.

St. Sol    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 21:11

Belye Stolby was the first thing on my mind when I read these lines about the planet Regular smile

petit élève    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 21:33

If writing odd lyrics was enough to earn you a straitjacket, loony bins would be overflowing all over the world.

magicmulder    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 16:15

> though a bit of polish might still be necessary

I thought the original was in Russian. Teeth smile

(Sorry, couldn't resist. ;))

sandring    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 17:55

I'd translate the passage in question like this:

You're not a victorious war
But the only eternal victory
You're not a renowned land
But the only planet there is

Actually, Pierre got it right. Just a finishing Polish touch Regular smile

petit élève    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 18:55

Ok, I'll take your native word on this Regular smile

Brat    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 18:37

The main message is the following:
You are not a recognized state (a state that exists, meaning you can always leave such a state, unless it's North Korea Wink smile )
You are the only planet (which you cannot escape from unless you're a cosmonaut, but in that case you can escape from North Korea either)
That's how I understand Maidanov's logics. Regular smile
I don't like wars, either victorious or losing, that's why I won't further explain the sense of the militaristic part of the stanza hoping you can easily deduce it from the above said.

petit élève    Fri, 25/05/2018 - 18:57

well, that doesn't seem that far from Nadia's interpretation. Frankly I still find the metaphor a bit strange so I would not dare deviate too much from what natives think it means Regular smile

sandring    Sat, 26/05/2018 - 05:51

Brat, I understand that differently.
You're not my trophy
You're the victory itself
You're not just one of the women I've known (that's why I've picked out "renowned")
You're the embodiment of all the women on earth.