Six Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva

Song Cycle by Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906 - 1975)

Original language: Шесть стихотворении Марини Цветаевой = Shest' stikhotvorenii Marini Cvetajevoj

1. Мои стихи [sung text checked 1 time]
Моим стихам, написанным так рано,
Что и не знала я, что я -- поэт,
Сорвавшимся, как брызги из фонтана, 
Как искры из ракет, 

Ворвавшимся, как маленькие черти,
В святилище, где сон и фимиам,
Моим стихам о юности и смерти,
- Нечитанным стихам! --

Разбросанным в пыли по магазинам
(Где их никто не брал и не берёт!) 
Моим стихам, как драгоценным винам,
Настанет свой черёд!

Show a transliteration: Default | DIN | GOST

Note on Transliterations

Authorship:

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Mes poèmes", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren
by Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (1892 - 1941)
1.
For my poems, written so early
That I didn't even know yet that I was a poet,
Which erupted like splashes out of a fountain, 
like sparks from a rocket,

Which burst like little devils 
into a sanctuary of slumber and incense,
For my poems about youth and death,
Never-before-read poems! --

Scattered around in the dust of the shops,
(Where no one is buying them still),
For my poems, as with precious wines,
Their turn will come!

Authorship:

  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2020 by Sergey Rybin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2020-09-16
Line count: 12
Word count: 77

Translation © by Sergey Rybin
2. Откуда такая нежность? [sung text checked 1 time]
Откуда такая нежность?
Не первые -- эти кудри
Разглаживаю, и губы
Знавала темней твоих. 

Всходили и гасли звёзды
-- Откуда такая нежность? --
Всходили и гасли очи 
У самых моих очей. 

Ещё не такие песни 
Я слушала ночью темной
[Венчаемая — о нежность! —]1
На самой груди певца.

Откуда такая нежность,
И что с нею делать, отрок
Лукавый, певец захожий, 
С ресницами -- нет длинней?

Show a transliteration: Default | DIN | GOST

Note on Transliterations

Authorship:

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Dann Mitton) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "D'où vient une telle tendresse", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Shostakovich: "(Откуда такая нежность?)"

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren
by Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (1892 - 1941)
2.
Why such tenderness?
Not for the first time – 
such locks I stroke,
And I knew lips – darker than yours.

The stars have risen and burnt out,
(why such tenderness?),
The eyes have risen and burnt out
Close to my very eyes.

Much better songs
I have heard in the dark of night,
(why such tenderness?),
Lying upon the very chest of the singer.

Why such tenderness?
And what do I do with it,
Wily lad, wandering singer,
With eye lashes – the longest I've ever seen?

Authorship:

  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2020 by Sergey Rybin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on:

Translation of title "Откуда такая нежность?" = "Why such tenderness?"


This text was added to the website: 2020-09-16
Line count: 16
Word count: 88

Translation © by Sergey Rybin
3. Диалог Гамлета с совестью [sung text checked 1 time]
-- На дне она, где ил
И водоросли ... спать в них
Ушла, -- но сна и там нет! 
-- Но я её любил, 
Как сорок тысяч братьев
Любит не могут! 
                 -- Гамлет! 

На дне она, где ил:
Ил! . . . И последний венчик 
Всплыл на приречных бревнах . . .
-- Но я её любил,
Как сорок тысяч ... 
                      -- Меньше
Всё ж, чем один любовник.

На дне она, где ил. 
-- Но я её --
              Лыубил?

Show a transliteration: Default | DIN | GOST

Note on Transliterations

Authorship:

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , "Dialogue of Hamlet with his conscience", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Dialogue entre Hamlet et sa conscience", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren
by Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (1892 - 1941)
3. Dialogue of Hamlet with his conscience
-- She is at the bottom, 
where mud and weed...
She went to sleep there, --
But even there she can't find sleep!
-- But I loved her, 
as forty thousand brothers cannot love!
        -- Hamlet! 

She is at the bottom, where mud: mud!...
And the last wreath 
has washed up upon the riverside decking...
-- But I loved her, 
as forty thousand...
        -- Still less 
than one lover.
 
She is at the bottom, where mud.
-- But I 
        loved her...?

Authorship:

  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2020 by Sergey Rybin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2020-09-16
Line count: 17
Word count: 75

Translation © by Sergey Rybin
4. Поэт и Царь [sung text checked 1 time]
Потусторонним
Залом цареи. 
-- [Кто]1 непреклонный
Мраморный сей?

Столь величавый
В золоте барм? 
-- Пушкинской славы
Жалкий жандарм.

Автора -- хаял,
Рукопись -- стриг. 
Польского края --
Зверский мясник. 

Зорче вглядися!
Не забывай:
Певтсоубийтся
Царь Николай
Первый!

Show a transliteration: Default | DIN | GOST

Note on Transliterations

Authorship:

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , "The Poet and the Tsar", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le poète et le tsar", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Tsvetaeva: "A"

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren
by Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (1892 - 1941)
4. The Poet and the Tsar
I walked through a gallery 
of deceased Tsars.
Who is this unbending 
proud statue?

So majestic in the gold 
of his regalia. --
A pitiful gendarme 
of Pushkin's glory.

He bad-mouthed the author 
and chopped up his manuscripts,
A savage butcher 
of the Polish land.

Look at him 
with a watchful eye!
Don't forget – the Poet's murderer 
is Tsar Nicholas 
the First.

Authorship:

  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2020 by Sergey Rybin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2020-09-16
Line count: 17
Word count: 62

Translation © by Sergey Rybin
5. Нет, бил барабан [sung text checked 1 time]
Нет, бил барабан перед смутным полком,
Когда мы вождя хоронили:
То зубы царёвы над мёртвым певцом
Почётную дробь выводили.

Такой уж почёт, что ближайшим друзьям —
Нет места. В изглавьи, в изножьи,
И справа, и слева — ручищи по швам —
Жандармские груди и рожи.

Не диво ли — и на тишайшем из лож
Пребыть поднадзорным мальчишкой?
На что-то, на что-то, на что-то похож
Почёт сей, почётно — да слишком!

Гляди, мол, страна, как, молве вопреки,
Монарх о поэте печётся!
Почётно — почётно — почётно — архи-
почётно, — почётно — до чёрту!

Кого ж это так — точно воры вора
Пристреленного — выносили?
Изменника? Нет. С проходного двора —
Умнейшего мужа России.

Show a transliteration: Default | DIN | GOST

Note on Transliterations

Authorship:

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Dann Mitton) , "No, there was a drumbeat", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , "No, the drum was drumming", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Non, le tambour bat devant les troupes inquiètes", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren
by Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (1892 - 1941)
5. No, the drum was drumming
No, the drum was drumming in front of a gloomy regiment
When we were burying the leader.
That sound was the teeth of the Tsar
Above the dead poet sounding an honorary drum roll.

Such a huge honour, that even for the closest of friends
There was no space to be found. By the bedhead, at the feet,
To the right and left - hands to the seams - 
only chests and mugs of gendarmes.

What a wonder – even upon the quietest of beds
To remain under surveillance like a little boy?
Something, something, something this honour reminds me of,
Honourable – but a little too much!

Look, subjects, how against all rumours,
The Monarch cares about the Poet!
Honourable, honourable, honourable,
Super honourable, honourable – cursedly so!

So whom – like thieves another thief,
Shot with a gun – did they carry out?
A traitor? No. Through the back door -
The cleverest man of all Russia.

Authorship:

  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2020 by Sergey Rybin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2020-09-16
Line count: 20
Word count: 159

Translation © by Sergey Rybin
6. Анне Ахматовой [sung text checked 1 time]
О Муза плача, прекраснейшая из муз!
О ты, шальное исчадие ночи белой! 
Ты чёрную насылаешь метель на Русь, 
И вопли твои вонзаются в нас, как стрелы.

И мы шарахаемся, и глухое: ох! 
Стотысячное -- тебе присягает. Анна 
Ахматова! Это имя -- огромный вздох,
И в глубь он падает, которая безымянна. 

Мы коронованы тем, что одну с тобой
Мы землю топчем, что небо над нами-то же! 
И тот, кто ранен смертельной твоей судьбой, 
Уже бессмертным на смертное сходит ложе. 

В певучем граде моём купола горят, 
и Спаса светлого славит слепец бродячий . . . 
И я дарю свой колокольный град, 
- Ахматова! - И сердце свое в придачу.

Show a transliteration: Default | DIN | GOST

Note on Transliterations

Authorship:

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , "To Anna Akhmatova", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Anna Akhmatova", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Ad Anna Achmatova", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren
by Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (1892 - 1941)
6. To Anna Akhmatova
Oh muse of lamentation, the finest of all muses!
Oh you, fierce fiend of the white night!
You summon a black snowstorm upon Russia,
And your cries thrust into us, like arrows.

And we stumble aside, and a stifled; “oh!”- of a hundred thousand
Sounds like a pledge of allegiance to you.
Anna Akhmatova! This name is a colossal sigh,
Which falls inside, into to the nameless depth.

We are crowned by the fact that we trample the same earth as you,
And that the sky above us is the same!
And he who is wounded by your deadly misfortune,
Already immortal, descends upon his death bed.

In my all-singing town the domes are shining bright,
And The Holy Redeemer is glorified by a vagrant holy fool.
I gift to you my bell-ringing town, Anna Akhmatova,
And my own heart in addition.

Authorship:

  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2020 by Sergey Rybin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2020-09-16
Line count: 16
Word count: 142

Translation © by Sergey Rybin
Total word count: 603