Saturday, January 19, 2013

"August - asters..." (Tsvetaeva in translation)

M. Tsvetaeva (1892-1941)


"August - asters..."
            Translated by Alexandra Palmer

Август – астры,
Август – звезды,
Август – грозди
Винограда и рябины
Ржавой – август!

Полновесным, благосклонным
Яблоком своим имперским,
Как дитя, играешь, август.
Как ладонью, гладишь сердце
Именем своим имперским:
Август! – Сердце!

Месяц поздних поцелуев,
Поздних роз и молний поздних!
Ливней звездных –
Август! – Месяц
Ливней звездных!


Shared on dVerse

Live for the love of it
The Happy Amateur

August – asters,
August – starlight,
August – bunches
Of ripe grapes and rusty rowan
Berries – August!

With benev’lent, sound, befitting
Emperors, your apple regal,
Like a child, you’re playing, August.
Like a palm, your name smooths heartache,
Emperors befitting, regal:
August! – Heartache!

Month of tardy, late hour kisses,
Tardy roses, lightnings tardy!
Showers starry –
August! – Month of
Showers starry!


  1. one in that language....and august...well that was the month i was born....realy like that last write and translation...

  2. wonderful translation. Love like a palm, your name smooths heartache, such a strong line. wish I knew how to pronounce the russian, but as I've always felt in any character based language, the characters themselves are art worthy, magnificent to view and get caught up in. Thanks so much for sharing with us tonight.

    1. Fred, thank you very much. I'm happy you've enjoyed the translation. It's such a beautiful poem in Russian.

  3. i guess what this is about the Persieds? the meteors are portentous for the emperors, so we learn in Julius Caeser..

    Bichon Frise

    1. All this is implied, yes. The meteor showers, the "imperial connection." I wouldn't say, perhaps, that the poem is about those things, but they play their part.

  4. Such a lovely starry night in August ~ I specially like:

    Like a palm, your name smooths heartache,
    Emperors befitting, regal:

    1. Thank you, Grace. It was a challenge to find the right words, I'm really glad you liked those lines.

  5. Very nice and so interesting to see two languages together.

  6. Great choice for this pretty to look at as well as to read....

  7. Wow, I really like that. Makes me long for summer nights watching the stars. :)

  8. ...I enjoyed the russian language &'s one of my frustrations to be able to write & speak in russian language...and what a lovely translations...sounds like an ode to a wonderful month...i had some really cool memories back in august as well...smiles...

  9. Thank you all so much for your comments. Happy Sunday, everyone.

  10. Doesn't Russian look fabulous on the page? Love this, even though I know next to no Russian. My favourite line is definitely:

    "Month of tardy, late hour kisses"

    Bring August on ...

  11. The poem and translation are great. It is a great way of describing August- I get it totally. I love the second stanza most. Very descriptive and lovely. Thank you!