No Comment, Quotation — December 13, 2008, 10:51 pm

Tsvetaeva’s Sleepless Night

serov-rubinstein

????? ????????? ???? ??????? ????,
????? ?????????? ? ?? ?????,— ??????,
? ????????? ????? ??ë ???????? ??????,
? ?????????? ?????, ??? ???????.

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

????? ???????? ????, ? ???? ??????
????? ???????? ????. ??? ???? ??????
???? ?????????? ???,— ? ?? ?????? ????
?????? ???? ??????? ? ??? — ?????.

After a sleepless night the body weakens,
Still precious, and neither yours nor anyone else’s.
Like the seraphim, you stroll, smiling to people,
But in slow veins, the arrows still cry.

After a sleepless night, arms weaken and droop,
And you seem indifferent to friend and enemy.
A rainbow presents itself in unanticipated sounds,
Smelling of a wintry, frosty laden Florence.

Your lips radiate and golden shadows appear
Next to your deepset eyes. This darkening sky
Yet illuminates the image — and from the dark night,
Only one thing darkens — our eyes.

Marina Tsvetaeva, ????? ????????? ???? (After a Sleepless Night) (1916) (S.H. transl.)


Music for a long, dark, sleepless night–like the one I spent in Moscow on Thursday to Friday–it’s the first movement of Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-Flat, op. 10 (1911), here performed by Aryo Wicaksono and the St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra.

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

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2014

The End of Retirement

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Octopus and Its Grandchildren

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Francis and the Nuns

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Return of the Strongman

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
“From the nerd squabbles of Internet discussion threads rose an urban legend that culminated in a film that hinges on digging through my town’s trash.”
Illustration (detail) by Timothy Taranto
Article
Return of the Strongman·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If Tunisia is where the Arab Spring began, Egypt seems poised to become its burial ground.”
Photograph (detail) © Ahmed Ismail / Getty Images
Article
The Seductive Catastrophe·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The world’s leaders were moved by a populace fused into a forward phalanx, were shaken by a tidal wave of militancy jubilantly united.”
Photograph courtesy Mary Evans Picture Library
Article
Me, Myself, and Id·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The one defining trait of the narcissist is that it’s always someone else.
Painting (detail) by Gianni Dagli Orti
Post
The Many Faces of Boko·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“People want education. Open a school and they will rush.”
Photograph © The author

Average number of sitcom laughs an American hears during a prime-time season:

12,000

Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.

British economists correlated the happiness of a country’s population with its genetic resemblance to Danes.

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