Thank You for Alexander Pushkin! Today, the 6th of June, is his Birthday! To celebrate the day I invite you to open and read the book. The poem “Eugene Onegin” is in the book.
Russian painter Elena Samokish-Sudkovskaya illustrated the poem published in 19o8 in Saint Petersburg. It is my pleasure to share with you these wonderful pictures. Romantic mood and delicate character of the poetry embrace us. We are floating in the flows of this Masterpiece.
I am catching the waves of “Eugene Onegin” translation by Charles H. Johnston via my own senses. I hope you will enjoy its, you can catch your own Pushkin here.
“How early on he (Onegin) learnt to trouble
the heart of the professional flirt!
When out to burst a rival’s bubble,
how well he knew the way to hurt —
what traps he’d set him, with what malice
he’d pop the poison in his chalice!”
So she was called Tatyana.
From early on she loved romances,
they were her only food… and so
she fell in love with all the fancies
of Richardson and of Rousseau.Tatyana now need wait no longer.
Her eyes were opened, and she said
“this is the one!” Ah, ever stronger,
in sultry sleep, in lonely bed,
all day, all night, his presence fills her,
by magic everything instils her
with thoughts of him in ceaseless round.
“I write to you – no more confession
is needed, nothing’s left to tell.
I know it’s now in your discretion
with scorn to make my world a hell.
Decreed in highest court for ever…
heaven’s will — for you I’m set apart;
and my whole life has been directed
and pledged to you, and firmly planned:
I know, Godsent one, I’m protected
until the grave by your strong hand:
you’d made appearance in my dreaming;
unseen, already you were dear,
my soul had heard your voice ring clear,
stirred at your gaze, so strange, so gleaming,
long, long ago… no, that could be
no dream. You’d scarce arrived, I reckoned
to know you, swooned, and in a second
all in a blaze, I said: it’s he!”
“Can you say,
prince, who in that dark-red béret,
just there, is talking to the Spanish
ambassador?” In some surprise
the prince looks at him, and replies:
“Wait, I’ll present you – but you banish
yourself too long from social life.”
“But tell me who she is.” “My wife.”
Onegin wrote “…I noticed once, at our chance meeting,
in you a tender pulse was beating,
yet dared not trust what I could see.
I gave no rein to sweet affection:
what held me was my predilection,
my tedious taste for feeling free.
No, every minute of my days,
to see you, faithfully to follow,
watch for your smile, and catch your gaze
with eyes of love, with greed to swallow
your words, and in my soul to explore
your matchlessness, to seek to capture
its image, then to swoon before
your feet, to pale and waste… what rapture!”
No answer comes. Another letter
he sends, a second, then a third.
Tatyana answered “I married. I beseech you, go;
I know your heart: it has a feeling
for honour, a straightforward pride.
I love you (what’s the use to hide
behind deceit or double-dealing?)
but I’ve become another’s wife —
and I’ll be true to him, for life.”
Thank you for joy reading “Eugene Onegin” with me. Onegin Day is wonderful.