About Yesenin's poetry

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About Yesenin's poetry

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May 13, 2014, 9:58 am

Thank you Tim and glad to meat you here in a ''fresh'' topic about Yesenin - the poet of the poets as I use to call him. I must say to you and all the people may join us here that unfortunatelly I don't Know Russian language and translate (render) from English or German translations that seem to me reliable and beautiful. I have yet the valuable help fron some Russian friends who are poets or scholars and literature professors doing translations of russian poetry in english or other languages. It's not easy translating from a second language than the original but in my opinion not prohibitive if you love and respect poetry and know well the poet you translate... After all many great poets of my country (Ritsos, Seferis, Elitis, translated from second languges doing a marvelous work. For starting I post one of my latest translations in Greek on a short Yesenin's poem I did last night; It's called ''Снежная замять крутит бойко..'', and was written on October 25, just a little time before tha fatal ''Anglettere'' finale/ translation in eglish by Alec Vagapov.

Снежная замять крутит бойко,
По полю мчится чужая тройка.

Мчится на тройке чужая младость.
Где мое счастье? Где моя радость?

Все укатилось под вихрем бойким
Вот на такой же бешеной тройке.

The snow is whirling lively and strong
A three horse sleigh is dashing along.

Some young ones are in the sleigh. Oh Boy!
Where is my happiness? Where is my joy?

All has slipped by through the storm in this way, -
Dashing like mad in a three horse sleigh.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
and my translation in Greek goes as..

Το χιόνι στροβιλίζεται ολοζώντανο με ορμή,
Μια άμαξα με τρία ζυγιά χοροπηδά κι αυτή.

Γέλια ακούω στο έλκηθρο νεανικά. Ω Θε μου!
Πού πήγε η τέρψη; Πού 'ν' η χαρά μου, πε μου!

Έτσι δανά μέσ' απ' τη θύελα γλιστρήσαν, -
Τρελά χυμήξαν με την τρόικα και σβήσαν.

Δ.Ν (Dim Nick) 13/5/2014

May 15, 2014, 7:51 am

>1 DimNick:: What a great start to the new thread! I am just popping in briefly today to say "thank you", but I'll be back in the weekend to comment more on this and also invite some people to join this group (which you are welcome to do as well).

- Tim

May 15, 2014, 10:40 pm

Thank you Tim. As I am sure you noticed some 'variation' from the original in Vagapov's english translation on which I worked mines in Greek. Without any intention of criticism to this translation, I think it's because of the enduring and wellknown problem in traslating literature and particularly poetry. The question to follow the precise meaning of the original poem (usually in free verse or at least 'flexible rhyme') sacrificing the initial poem's meter or rendering in rhyme and meter with some loss in the accurate translation. In my opinion such a musical poetry with rhythm as Yesenin's is a pity to be lost in free verse but yet the same if it lacks the spirit of words. It's been always hard and complicated and you certainly know it very well. Since the day I rendered the poem in Greek I was eaten by a feeling of missing somethin' here so I came back with it again and again till I reached a satisfactory result to me. Here it is with an english rendering of mine that I needed to do since the other one didn't cover me completely:

Snowdrift... by Sergey Yesenin

Snowdrift is blasting busily from earth,
A three horses sleigh getting on turn.

Youthfull laughs sound on sleigh, oh boy!
Where is my pleasure? where is my joy?

All has slipped through snowstorm this way
Dashing in fury on a troika and fade away.

4/5 October 1925

Σεργκέι Γιεσένιν: Χιόνι σωρός...

Χιόνι σωρός τινάζεται αδιάκοπα απ' τη γη,
Με τρία ζυγιά η άμαξα μπαίνει στη στροφή.

Γέλια ηχούν στο έλκηθρο νεανικά. Ω Θε μου!
Πού πήγε η τέρψη; Πού η χαρά μου, Πε μου!

Έτσι εδανά μέσα στη θύελα γλιστρήσαν, -
Τρελά χυμήξαν με την τρόικα και σβήσαν.

Δ.Ν 15 - 5 - 2014

May 19, 2014, 7:42 am

I certainly can't comment on the Greek translation, but I'm intrigued by the two different English translations and want to have a crack at my own version as I have not previously translated this poem - despite the fact that my Russian is now very rusty, I think this poem is short enough that I can give it a crack!

I'm tied up with some legal proceedings for the rest of this weak - don't worry, I'm not a defendant! - so I will have a go at this next weekend.

Now I'm off to issue a few invites to this group...

May 19, 2014, 3:15 pm

Yes Tim I understand as I myself have been involved with a translating work this time that don't let me take a free breath. The boon is that this work concerns Yesenin's poetry as I'm trying to collect 45 to 50 of his most beloving poems to me and have them translated all in a collection just on him. I hope yet to find a publisher here in Greece to accept this work even if it's rather too hard. That's why I've got some time left to write in the topic as it doesn't steal time from my writting and I am very happy and lucky to find so many wonderful translations here along with your interest and very serious approaching over this great poet. I'm frankly grateful for this. Please when you can take a look in your FB as I've sent you a msg and a friend request there that I'd be honored if you accepted. Have a good day and week Tim.