No Comment, Quotation — October 26, 2008, 12:21 am

Pushkin’s Autumn

birch_forest_by_klimt

VIII
? ? ?????? ?????? ? ????????? ?????;
???????? ????? ??????? ??????? ?????;
? ????????? ????? ????? ???????? ??????:
?????? ??????? ???, ?????? ??????? ?????;
????? ? ???????? ?????? ? ?????? ?????,
??????? ????? — ? ????? ????????, ?????,
? ????? ????? ???? — ????? ??? ????????
(???????? ??? ???????? ???????? ????????).

IX
????? ?? ??? ????; ? ???????? ????????,
????? ??????, ?? ???????? ?????,
? ?????? ??? ??? ?????????? ???????
?????? ?????????? ??? ? ?????????? ???.
?? ?????? ??????? ????, ? ? ???????? ???????
????? ????? ????? — ?? ????? ???? ????,
?? ????? ???????? — ? ? ???? ??? ?????
??? ???? ?????? ? ???? ???? ?????.

X
? ??????? ??? — ? ? ??????? ??????
? ?????? ??????? ???? ????????????,
? ???????????? ?????? ?? ???:
???? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????,
???????? ? ??????, ? ????, ??? ?? ???,
???????? ??????? ????????? ??????????? —
? ??? ?? ??? ???? ???????? ??? ??????,
???????? ??????, ????? ????? ????.

XI
? ????? ? ?????? ????????? ? ??????,
? ????? ?????? ????????? ?? ?????,
? ?????? ???????? ? ????, ???? ? ??????,
?????? — ? ????? ???????? ???????.
??? ??????? ???????? ??????? ? ????????? ?????,
?? ??! — ??????? ????? ????????, ??????
?????, ???? — ? ?????? ????????, ????? ?????;
??????? ????????? ? ????????? ?????.

XII
??????. ???? ? ??? ??????…

VIII
When autumn comes, I bloom anew;
The Russian frost does wonders for my health;
Anew I fall in love with life’s routine:
Betimes I’m soothed by dreams, betimes by hunger caught;
The blood flows free and easy in my heart,
Abrim with passion; once again, I’m happy, young,
I’m full of life – such is my organism
(Excuse me for this awful prosaism)

IX
My horse is brought to me; in open field,
With flying mane, he carries fast his rider,
And with his shining hooves he hammers out a song
Upon the frozen, ringing vale, and crackling ice.
But fleeting day dies out, new fire comes alive
Inside the long-forgotten stove– it blazes bright,
Then slowly smoulders – as I read before it,
Or nourish long and heartfelt thoughts.

X
And I forget the world – in silence sweet,
I’m sweetly lulled by my imagination,
And poetry awakens deep inside:
My heart is churned with lyric agitation,
It trembles, moans, and strives, as if in sleep,
To pour out in the end a free statement–
And here they come – a ghostly swarm of guests,
My long-lost friends, the fruits of all my dream.

XI
My mind is overcome by dashing thoughts,
And rhymes come running eagerly to meet them,
My hand demands a pen; the pen – a sheet of paper.
Another minute – and my verse will freely flow.
Thus slumbers an immobile ship caught in immobile waters,
But lo! – the sailors rush all of a sudden, crawl
Up top, then down – sails billow, filled with wind;
The massive structure moves, and cuts the waves.

XII
It sails. But whither do we sail?…

Aleksandr Segeyevich Pushkin, “Autumn” (“?????“)(excerpt)(1833) from ???????? ????????? ? 10 ????? (M. Eastman transl. 1924)

Listen to a Romanze acapella performance of Pushkin’s Autumn.


I have spent this week near the mountains of Central Asia. The golden leaves still cling to the white trunks of trees in the birch forests. The skies are clear and the heat of the sun is still enough to bring a recollection of summer’s lassitude in the early afternoon hours, but in the evening the cold justifies the lighting of fires, and their smoke thickens the early morning hours. Autumn is a curious time, marked by decay, but filled nevertheless by strange vigor. It is a season in which we prepare for the darkness and cold of winter, the world around us seems filled with reminders of mortality and the steady cycle of life. Pushkin’s poem is one of the more remarkable expressions of these contradictory forces. It is a distinctly artistic vision. The cycle of worldly change is tied to the artist’s urge to create and express.

Listen to Pyotr Il’ich Tchaikovsky’s Song of Autumn, no. 10 in the cycle The Seasons, op. 37 (1876) here in a wonderful performance by a young Korean pianist, Dong-Hyek Lim.

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

Conversation March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm

Burn Pits

Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.

Context, No Comment August 28, 2015, 12:16 pm

Beltway Secrecy

In five easy lessons

From the April 2015 issue

Company Men

Torture, treachery, and the CIA

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

June 2016

Trump’s People

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Old Man

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Long Rescue

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

New Television

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Improbability Party

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Helen Ouyang on the cost of crowd-sourcing drugs, Paul Wood on Trump's supporters, Walter Kirn on political predictions, Sonia Faleiro on a man's search for his kidnapped children, and Rivka Galchen on The People v. O. J. Simpson.

The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

Photograph (detail) © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos
Article
Trump’s People·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"All our friends are saying, load up with plenty of ammunition, because after the stores don’t have no food they’re gonna be hitting houses. They’re going to take over America, put their flag on the Capitol.” “Who?” I asked. “ISIS. Oh yeah.”
Photograph by Mark Abramson for Harper's Magazine (detail)
Article
The Long Rescue·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

He made them groom and feed the half-dozen horses used to transport the raw bricks to the furnace. Like the horses, the children were beaten with whips.
Photograph (detail) © Narendra Shrestha/EPA/Newscom
Article
The Old Man·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

Illustration (detail) by Jen Renninger
Article
New Television·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

With its lens shifting from the courtroom to the newsroom to people’s back yards, the series evokes the way in which, for a brief, delusory moment, the O. J. verdict seemed to deliver justice for all black men.
Still from The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story © FX Networks

Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:

$62,000

Kentucky is the saddest state.

An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Mississippi Drift

By

Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'

Subscribe Today