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.

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