To Pushkin (Пушкину), Sergei Yesenin

lingua fennica

tumblr_ncwyis561R1qihmimo1_500 Yesenin and companions at a monument to Pushkin

Yesenin wrote this in 1924, the year before he killed himself. His life was if anything more riotous than was Pushkin’s – here‘s an excellent site which gives some detail.

My translation is a little loose, but retains Yesenin’s metre and rhyme scheme, except in the third line of the first stanza. I haven’t found a way to incorporate “boulevard” within the metre… A solution might be to retain the Russian and add “while”: “Tverskóy Bul’vár while perusing”.

Of mighty talent stand I musing,
Of one who stands for Russia’s fate,
Tverskóy Boulevard perusing,
I stand and with myself I prate.

My hair is fair – there are few blonder –
They say that I’ve become like mist,
O Alexander! What a bounder!
And I’m delinquent – often pissed.

But these beguiling sweet diversions
Can cast no shadow on your mien,

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