October 16, 2004 by AK
Another puzzle perhaps
This is a reasonably close, I believe, translation of a rather pessimistic poem by a rather important, and influential–as it turned out in the middle of the 20th century–Russian poet. Should be easy to identify for sophisticated enough Russians, since within Russian culture, sophistication implies a decent knowledge of the 200+ years of Russian poetry. [UPDATE: Sorry for the bad joke.]
UPDATE. Yevgeny Baratynsky (1800–1844), Na chto vy, dni! Yudol’ny mir yavlen’ya… (1840).
What are you for, days? Its occurences
This vale won’t change —
All known, but repetitions
The future holds.
‘Tis not in vain you surged and seethed,
Hastening to develop:
You have performed your feat before the body,
O insane soul!
A narrow circle of terrene impressions
Having long closed,
Under a breathing of recurrent visions
You’re drowsing; and the body
Peers mindless as a morning rises,
Replacing without need a night,
Into nocturnal darkness sinks an aimless evening,
Crowning an empty day.
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