No Comment — March 10, 2008, 6:17 am

Pasternak’s ‘Black February’

mikhail_nesterov_001

???????. ??????? ?????? ? ???????!
?????? ? ??????? ???????,
???? ?????????? ???????
?????? ?????? ?????.

??????? ????????. ?? ????? ??????,
???? ?????????, ???? ???? ?????
??????????? ????, ??? ??????
??? ?????? ?????? ? ????.

???, ??? ?????????? ?????,
? ???????? ?????? ??????
???????? ? ???? ? ???????
????? ?????? ?? ??? ????.

??? ??? ????????? ???????,
? ????? ??????? ?????,
? ??? ?????????, ??? ??????
????????? ????? ???????.


Black spring! Pick up your pen, and weeping,
Of February, in sobs and ink,
Write poems, while the slush in thunder
Is burning in the black of spring.

Through clanking wheels, through church bells ringing
A hired cab will take you where
The town has ended, where the showers
Are louder still than ink and tears.

Where rooks, like charred pears, from the branches
In thousands break away, and sweep
Into the melting snow, instilling
Dry sadness into eyes that weep.

Beneath — the earth is black in puddles,
The wind with croaking screeches throbs,
And–the more randomly, the surer
Poems are forming out of sobs.

Boris Pasternak, ???????. ??????? ?????? ? ???????! (1912) (Lydia Pasternak Slater transl.)

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

No Comment, Six Questions June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

From the June 2014 issue

The Guantánamo “Suicides,” Revisited

A missing document suggests a possible CIA cover-up

No Comment March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm

Scott Horton Debates John Rizzo on Democracy Now!

On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

  • Angel

    How was this translated? I have pieced together from other translations (everyone seems to translate it different somehow)

    February. Get ink, shed tears.
    Write of it, sob your heart out, sing,
    While the torrential slush that roars
    Burns in the blackness of the spring.

    Go hire a buggy. For six grivnas,
    Race through the noise of bells and wheels
    To where the ink and all you grieving
    Are muffled when the rain shower falls.

    Where rooks in thousands falling,
    like charred pears from the skies,
    drop down into puddles, bringing
    cold grief to the depths of eyes.

    Below, the wet black earth shows through,
    With sudden cries the wind is pitted,
    The more haphazard, the more true
    The poetry that sobs its heart out.

    Boris Pasternak 1912

    It sounds like it could have been written about deaths (maybe from a war or just maybe peasants were dying from a harsh winter?)

    How can I find the actual translation? and maybe even the meaning/background for the poem?

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2014

Cassandra Among the
Creeps

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

PBS Self-Destructs

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Monkey Did It

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
"In mid-August, hundreds of displaced Christians who had fled to Erbil were moved by Kurdish authorities into the concrete shell of a half-built mall. "
Photograph by Sebastian Meyer
Article
“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Iraq has every disease there is; its mind is deranged with too many voices, its organs corrupted, its limbs only long enough to tear at its own body.”
Photograph by Benjamin Busch
Post
Flying Blind·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“President Obama’s war against the Islamic State will represent, by a rough count, the eighth time the U.S. air-power lobby has promised to crush a foe without setting boot or foot on the ground.”
Article
The Monkey Did It·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Murakami’s fiction, what presents itself as a key reveals itself simultaneously to be a keyhole.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
PBS Self-Destructs·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The present state of PBS, the result of built-in deficiencies and ideological conflicts, was almost an inevitability.”
Illustration by Thomas Allen

Average percentage increase in the national homicide rate for every one percent increase in the unemployment rate:

5.6

Canada banned baby walkers.

Vanilla latte and lemon pound cake continued to be the best-selling items at the Starbucks at CIA headquarters, where baristas do not write customers’ names on their cups.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today