Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Night, Street, Lamp and Pharmacy (Aleksandr Blok)

Night, Street, Lamp, Pharmacy by Alexander Blok
October 10, 1912
Translated from Russian by Alfia Wallace

Night, Street, Lamp and Pharmacy
A light so senseless and so slight
That forty years of legacy
will be the same - no chance of flight.
You'll die - and then you'll start again
It all repeats, an ancient stamp,
Night, icy ripple of canal,
Pharmacy, Street and Lamp.



Ночь, улица, фонарь, аптека,
Бессмысленный и тусклый свет.
Живи еще хоть четверть века -
Все будет так. Исхода нет.

Умрешь - начнешь опять сначала
И повторится все, как встарь:
Ночь, ледяная рябь канала,
Аптека, улица, фонарь.

Drugstore by Edward Hopper, 1927

9 comments:

  1. Bravo!
    This isn't an easy one to translate, despite simingly easy from. Here's my version.

    Alexander Blok
    ***
    Night, street, drugstore and lonely light,
    A cast of senseless glare.
    A quarter century will die –
    All be the same. Despair.

    You’d die and rise anew, begotten.
    All would repeat as ever might:
    The night, the icy rippled water,
    The store, the street, the lonely light.

    October 10th, 1912

    http://www.stihi.ru/2008/12/11/910

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    Replies
    1. A wonderfull translation, maybe the best I've met so far.

      Thanks Dina.

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  2. Спасибо за комплимент! Мне *очень* нравится ваш перевод. Beautifully atmospheric.

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  3. Dina, this transpation is beautiful, I LOVE it... I'd like to choose this one 4 a school competition, but I need you full name. Would you tell me, please? my e-mail is: vladikmakszimov@yahoo.com
    thanks, Vlad

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  4. Second part is significantly better than the first one. You have saved the rhytm here:
    You’d die and rise anew, begotten.
    All would repeat as ever might:
    The night, the icy rippled water,
    The store, the street, the lonely light.

    Oh, and this is very demotivating, this poetry.

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  5. Check out this one

    Some night and street, some chemist’s lantern
    Is bringing senseless dreary light.
    Well, nothing changes. That’s one pattern.
    Live extra twenty-five and find.

    You die – you start a life all over
    All things repeat as did before.
    That night , cold waters at quay’s border
    That street, that light, that chemist’s store.

    Translated by Parphyonov

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    Replies
    1. I love it, Parphyonov. There are some tell-tale non-native English signs in the syntax, but that doesn't matter. It preserves the feel, the atmosphere, which is the most essential element in this poem. Thank you.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you. I very much enjoy your blog.

      Delete