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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pushkin, Approaching Izhora (Подъезжая под Ижоры)

Екатерина Васильевна Вельяшева
фотография. 1850-е годы
(source: хронoс)
no copyright infringement intended

It was the January of 1829. Pushkin was visiting acquaintances in the Tver province, bringing with him some Petersburgian atmosphere, a certain style, a bit of variety (oн принес в наше общество немного разнообразия, as someone later would remember).

And there he met Katya. Was she an absolute beauty? That's always hard to state, you know, but certainly she had her beauties. Her eyes were wonderful, her movements were slim, her stature was light,  And she was in her blossoming years, full of freshness and of that je ne sais quoi melting any male heart.

No wonder that the poet fell charmed and started to imagine some wonderful stances, while drawing the sweet profile on the manuscripts.

(source: Счастливый Пушкин)
no copyright infringement intended

But he had to control his effusions. His heart was already belonging to Goncharova, the woman who would become his wife and tragically mark his destiny. So the resulting poem is a masterpiece of lyrical enthusiasm balanced by some self-irony: love elegantly dominated by a sense of the relative.

(As for Katya, after a few years she married a cavalry officer, seemingly dumb and indecently jealous, whose unique passion was riding goats or something)

Подъезжая под Ижоры,
Я взглянул на небеса
И воспомнил ваши взоры,
Ваши синие глаза.
Хоть я грустно очарован
Вашей девственной красой,
Хоть вампиром именован
Я в губернии Тверской,
Но колен моих пред вами
Преклонить я не посмел
И влюбленными мольбами
Вас тревожить не хотел.
Упиваясь неприятно
Хмелем светской суеты,
Позабуду, вероятно,
Ваши милые черты,
Легкий стан, движений стройность,
Осторожный разговор,
Эту скромную спокойность,
Хитрый смех и хитрый взор.
Если ж нет… по прежню следу
В ваши мирные края
Через год опять заеду
И влюблюсь до ноября.

I hardly found an English translation, made by Rupert Moreton.

When approaching River Inger
Glance did I at azure skies,
And recalled your gaze’s linger
And your wondrous deep blue eyes.
And although I was enchanted
Sadly by you, virgin fair,
And although an exile planted
Somewhere in the depths of Tver,
Dared I not to make prostration,
Lay before you all my cares,
Nor to cause you consternation
With my dim enamoured prayers.
Dreadfully inebriated
By the hops of worldly show,
I’ll forget, intoxicated,
How your lovely features glow,
And your poise and slender motion
And the care in all you say,
Calm, displayed without a notion,
Knowing laugh and glance’s stray.
And if not, this path I’ll follow
To your peaceful native parts,
Reappear like the swallow,
Love until November starts.




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