Имя доброты (English translation)


Имя доброты

В мире семь тысяч миллионов человек!
О тебе, читатель, при таком масштабе,
При столь большом и перенаселенном шаре
Со временем забудут и не вспомнят вовек.
Твои мысли и дела
Будут лишь внутри гроба́.
Погладят его твои родня и дети,
Всплакнут, да по делам пойдут.
Но тебя забудут, а запомнят только
Не тех, кто делал добрые дела негромко,
Не тех, кто спасал, поддерживал, любил,
Не тех, кто прощал, не врал, не пил.
А помнить будут и любить
Тех, кто во всём винит других,
Тех, кто благие дела приписал себе,
Тех, кто правил людьми почти везде
И загубил миллиарды современников, потомков,
Доставив нам в наследство кучи обломков.
Доброте имён не нужнó,
Доброта - не зло!
Доброта - есть одно целое, милое имя
Это красивое отчество, фамилия!
А зло тонет в своём разнообразии имён.
Submitted by Alexander FreiAlexander Frei on Sat, 02/02/2019 - 00:49
Submitter's comments:


Посвящаю стих всем тем людям, которые помогали миру, делали общество лучше, но которых мы не знаем поимённо. Среди таких наверняка и Вы! =)

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English translation

The name of good

There are seven thousand millions people on Earth!
On such a scale, reader, on such a huge,
overpopulated sphere, in time you will be forgotten.
You won't be remembered for ever and ever.
Your thoughts and actions
will simply be buried with you1.
Your relatives and children will brush their hands on
your coffin, shed a tear, then go on with their lives.
But you will not be remembered, nor will
those who did good deeds quietly,
those who saved, helped2, loved,
those who forgave, didn't lie, didn't drink3
Will be fondly remembered
those who put all the blame on others,
those who took credit for good deeds,
those who ruled over men in almost all respects4
and ruined the lives of billions of people5 and their descendents,
leaving but heaps of rubble as their legacy.
Good does not need a name,
Good is simply the opposite of evil!
Good is a whole gentle name,
a beautiful middle and last name!6
While evil flounders in its many7 names.
  • 1. lit. "will only be in (your) grave"
  • 2. "were supportive"
  • 3. the Russian uses negations like "they will just remember not those... nor those..." but I rephrased it for readability
  • 4. "almost everywhere"
  • 5. "contemporaries"
  • 6. in Russia, a reference to the father is included as a middle name (Ivan Ivanovitch Popov), so it can be read as "the name of a father and a family"
  • 7. "variety of"
Submitted by ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte on Tue, 12/02/2019 - 04:04
Added in reply to request by Alexander FreiAlexander Frei
Last edited by ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte on Wed, 13/02/2019 - 10:58
Author's comments:

Another nice joint effort. Thanks guys.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 04:30

а запомнят только
Не тех, кто делал добрые дела негромко, etc. - it not exactly “they will be forgotten”, it is more like “people will not remember those who did good deeds quietly”, IMHO

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 04:33

Yes, "not be remembered" is better, I'll change that. Anything else?

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 04:44

I kinda arguing with myself about “good”, доброта - is “kindness”, “good” - is хорошо. On the other hand good-evil go well together, so... up to you Wink smile

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:52

Well I think the good vs evil opposition is the backbone of the poem, so I'd rather stick with that. What do you think?

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 04:55

No, I agree (please allow me no use Russian negation rules here, when “no” means “yes” Regular smile )

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:05

Actually that's the same in (spoken) French:
"non (mais) je suis d'accord" (no, but I agree with you) really means "yes, I agree with you" Regular smile

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 04:54

I changed "ruins" for "rubble" to avoid a repetion Regular smile

And I think "many names" would sound better than "various names" (last line). Do you think I can afford that?

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:26

разнообразие is a noun, but it means “variety”, “various” sounds good to me Regular smile
Sorry, I wasn’t clear
‘Many’ is more like a lot, разнообразия не хватает Wink smile

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:02

well using an adjective or a noun (variety of...) does not really matter, or does it?
Still "many" would sound more punchy, I think.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:08

И ещё:
Доброта - есть одно целое, милое имя
Это красивое отчество, фамилия!

The author is playing with words a little bit - имя, отчество (like Russian first and “middle” name - Иван Иванович), фамилия (last name; in many languages it is family, but not in Russian)

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:35

I can't see how to keep the "fatherland/family" and "father's name/family name" pun. I guess a footnote is in order.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:45

Pierre, no pun here, just Иван Иванович Иванов
Красивое русское имя. Добротой просто изнутри светится

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:47

Ok sorry, I overthought it. That should be fixed now.

BratBrat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 12:00

Having read the original once again, I've got some idea of what was intended by the author, though the opus is rather obscure.
Look, good doesn't need a name, for it is a name itself (or even a middle or last name - that doesn't matter). So, good is unpersonal, it's generalised.
On the contrary, evil is personalised, it has a plethora of various names, and it finally blends into the crowd hiding behind the names that don't evidently point to evil.

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 13:00

You mean the names of evil would be those of the people doing evil?

BratBrat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 13:31

First I thought so, but after thinking a while I now reckon that the author includes other references in the list. For instance: Peter is evil; Smith is evil; war is evil; murder is evil; famine is evil; unfairness is evil, and so on... Only those prove to be good who we can't remember and say anything about. Wink smile
We can now build a scale of evil: nasty things we'd remember first would lie in the upper (more evil) part of it. Teeth smile

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 14:11

You got a wicked mind, bro Teeth smile
I was rather understanding it as good being simple and unique, while evil would be the opposite, assuming all kinds of shapes and, consequently, names.

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 17:10

What's the problem? Exterminating all the hypocrites would be a lot of hard work at first, but life would be wonderful for the survivors Teeth smile

Looks like Rozenbaum got inspired on this one. I lack a few references to get it all, but I still can feel the soulfulness.

BratBrat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 06:27

Looks like "all and sundry" fits here. Though it's not a very popular idiom...
BTW, "Доставить в наследство" looks like a typo. "Оставить в наследство" is much more common. Unless it was an intentional quirk. Wink smile

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 06:32

My mastery of Russian doesn't cover subtle changes of prefixes, so I'll take your word on that, as long as the idea is still to leave something behind as a legacy Regular smile

"all and sundry" is nice, but it doesn't carry the idea of multiple generations, or does it?

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 06:32

Так тож авторское, и мы вроде как не должны лезть?

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 06:41

So is there a nuance I missed between "Доставить" and "Оставить"?
"cause" or "provide" maybe? But that doesn't work terribly well in English.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 06:47

It’s like ‘to deliver (something meaningful)” and/or “to leave (something after yourself)”

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 06:50

Ok but I think that meaning will be carried by "legacy" more than by the verb in English.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 07:03

No, I agree with Bro, but this is someone’s personal work, I respect their choice of words, if they decide to change them - it would be their choice

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 07:08

Of course. I just don't know Russian and/or English well enough to convey the difference, so I'll just wait for you natives to get me out of that bind Regular smile

BratBrat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 06:46

I understand this like "доставляют проблемы и, не решая, оставляют их в наследство" Regular smile
And for the miscellanea of names, I think, "all and sundry" implies a wide specrum of people, every and each, and the whole total at the same time. You should consult a native, maybe...

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 07:29

Бедный Гавин Wink smile Poor Gavin  Heart

Kashtanka1965Kashtanka1965    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:35

Very good translation. I agree with the last comment. You mixed up "отчество" with " отечество" and "family" with "surname"

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:41

I thought it was a kind of pun. So basically it just means "middle and family name", right?

Kashtanka1965Kashtanka1965    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:57

Well, yes. The only difference is, that in Russia(Ukraine) we are not given a second(middle) name, but the name of the father with "ich" at the end(for male) and" na" for females. We call it "отчество". So the middle name is always the fathers.

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Tue, 12/02/2019 - 05:57

Ok, that's crystal clear. Thank you once again for your help.

ingirumimusnocteingirumimusnocte    Wed, 13/02/2019 - 07:39

I'm glad it pleased you. The stars go to all the people who helped.