Saturday, June 04, 2011

Happy Birthday, Apollon

Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov (Аполлон Николаевич Майков) was born today in Moscow, in 1821. His short poetry is pretty good, his longer works are somewhat dated and rather Victorian.

His greatest contribution, though, is translating the Igor tale into modern Russian.

Here's one of his (from here, translation, such as it is, mine):


Морозит. Снег хрустит. Туманы над полями.
Из хижин ранний дым разносится клубами
В янтарном зареве пылающих небес.
В раздумии глядит на обнаженный лес,
На домы, крытые ковром младого снега,
На зеркало реки, застынувшей у брега,
Светила дневного кровавое ядро.
Отливом пурпурным блестит снегов сребро;
Иглистым инеем, как будто пухом белым,
Унизана кора по ветвям помертвелым.
Люблю я сквозь стекла блистательный узор
Картиной новою увеселять свой взор;
Люблю в тиши смотреть, как раннею порою
Деревня весело встречается с зимою:
Там по льду гладкому и скользкому реки
Свистят и искрятся визгливые коньки;
На лыжах зверолов спешит к лесам дремучим;
Там в хижине рыбак пред пламенем трескучим
Сухого хвороста худую сеть чинит,
И сладостно ему воспомнить прежний быт,
Взирая на стекло окованной пучины,-
Про зори утренни и клики лебедины,
Про бури ярые и волн мятежный взрыв,
И свой хранительный под ивами залив,
И про счастливый лов в часы безмолвной ночи,
Когда лишь месяца задумчивые очи
Проглянут, озлатят пучины спящей гладь
И светят рыбаку свой невод подымать.

1839, Санкт-Петербург

Winter Morning

Hard frost. Snow crackles. Fog lies on the fields.
From cottages an early smoke rises in puffs
Into the glowing skies of an amber dawn.
Deep in thought I look out at the bare forest,
At the houses covered in a blanket of new snow,
At the mirror-bright river, frozen along the banks
And lit by the day's crimson heart.
The silver snow shimmers in purple;
And strange new thorns, like a white down,
Stud the bark of pale branches.
I love to delight my eyes with a new view
Seen through a window pane's coruscating patterns;
I love to look out in the stillness at the village
As in the early hours it joyfully greets the winter:
There on the smooth slippery ice of the river
Gleam the skate blades, whistling thinly;
There trappers on skies speed toward the dense forest;
And there in a cottage, before a crackling fire
Of dry brushwood, a fisherman is mending his worn net,
And he spends sweet hours thinking of his former life
Looking at his window where the frost has drawn waves in ice:
He thinks of daybreaks and the cries of swans,
Of fierce storms and the waves' rebellious leaping,
And of his sheltering harbor under the willows,
And of a fortunate cast in the silent hours of the night
When only the moon's pensive eyes are watching,
Turning the sleeping sea to a mirror of burnished gold
And lighting the fisherman's nets for raising.

1839, St Petersburg

Labels: , , ,


At 11:17 AM, June 04, 2011 Blogger Alia Dalwai had this to say...


I really liked your blog!

Keep up the good work!

Do visit my blog too at


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post

Links to this post:

Create a Link

     <-- Older Post                     ^ Home                    Newer Post -->