Inashortfiction's Blog

Translation of Pushkin’s “Demon” (1823)

Posted in writing, short fiction by Psychopoliticus on June 29, 2013

I’ve remembered Pushkin. His portrait hangs in my research methods classroom because I guess that’s where the Russian department holds its classes. Most of his themes are so simple and so gripping at the same time. Tried my hand at translating. Really hard–he has Russian in a tight grip that’s hard to unravel. Here’s my translation of “Demon” (1823)

“Demon”

Those days, when were to me so novel

those grand impressions of my being

Glances of maidens, oaks’ quiet shuffle 

By night, the nightingale sings-

When grandiose, sublime emotion

And freedom, victory and love,

Art’s high inspired, insane devotion

So strongly stirred to rouse my blood,

Those hours of hope and of enjoyment

Then, suddenly, in fall’s drab longing,

Some evil genius’ deployment

to pay me surreptitious heed. 

Our meetings, they were always somber

His grin, most marvelous his glance

His acrid, ulcerous oration

Poured frigid poison ‘nto my hands.

With indefatigable slander,

he tempted my protected soul

He called through wondrous dreams with laughter

for he resented life’s high goal.

In love or freedom no believer,

he ogled living with a smirk

To nothing in all nature’s glory

give benediction did he want.    

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A not-quite ghazal about John Thompson

Posted in own poetry by Psychopoliticus on January 3, 2011

I dreamt about Stilt Jack for years before I read it,
a Pnin crossed with a more forthright Bukowski.

Dreamt of a large Hunter-S.-Thompson breakfast,
with John– a man midst booze, fidelity.

I smiled just once, when he rhymed “too” and “kangaroo”,
this man, midst booze, responsibility.

My translation of A. Blok’s ДВЕ ЛЮБВИ (Two Loves)

Posted in poetry translations by Psychopoliticus on September 24, 2010

Two Loves

Of love that’s light, of love that’s foggy
has equally been known the path.
Each of them equally the soul desires,
But how to reconcile them best?

Not joinable, not in agreement,
Equal in kindness and in evil,
Although the first– serene and clear,
The second– dark, in disarray.

Impart to them an equal glory,
connect through mystery the two,
And, servant, wicked and so wayward,
Bring prey for both of them to chew!

But fear the punishment impending,
Be wary of the threatening finger:
Your joy and fire never-ending,
Are only ash and vanity!

My translation of Alexander Blok’s Я медленно сходил с ума

Posted in poetry translations by Psychopoliticus on September 13, 2010

And slowly I was going mad

next to the door of one I thirst for.

A day of spring removed by dark

that only fueled my thirst.

I wept, fatigued with lust,

And solemnly stifled my moans.

Already doubling, impending,

the ill and insane thought.

It snuck its way into the silence

of my soul, already mad,

And poured over my spring

a dark and insane wave.

The day of spring removed by dark,

The heart over the grave turned cold.

I slowly kept losing my mind,

as I thought coldly about her.