Unfinished Flight

Discussion in 'Creative Corner' started by ibshambat, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    Someone saw the fruit, that could not get ripe
    They shook the trunk - it fell, just so...
    Here's the song of him who did not finish his song
    And that he had a voice - he did not know.

    Perhaps he was not on good terms with fate,
    And on bad terms with circumstance.
    And the tight string lay on a fret
    That was broken in single place.

    He started shyly with first note
    But did not finish it, did not..
    His music was incomplete
    Did not make anyone's soul rise..
    The dog kept barking, and the cat
    Was hunting mice.

    It's funny! Funny, yes it is! It is.
    But he made jokes - they had no grace,
    He did not finish tasting wine
    Did not even touch it to his face.

    While he started the argument
    Unhurried and uncertain
    Just like, on forehead, drops of sweat
    The soul had shimmered through his skin.

    He began the duel on the rug,
    Barely, barely he began.
    The judge did not open the score.
    And little he saw of the game.

    He sought to know all of it,
    But did not reach, did not...
    Not till the riddle, not the root,
    He did not dig until the deep,
    And her, that is still by herself,
    He did not finish loving!

    It's funny! Funny, yes it is! It is.
    And he had hurried - all for none.
    And all that he did not resolve
    Was not resolved by anyone.

    Not with single word do I lie -
    He served the pure word, poetry.
    And he wrote poems on the snow -
    But snows melt beneath the trees.

    But the snow was falling then
    And the freedom to write on the snow.
    And the big snowflakes and hail
    He touched with his lips as he ran, so.

    But her, the one in silver necklace
    He did not reach, not at his pace...
    Did not reach goal, the runner he,
    Not finished flight, it was in vain,
    And sign beneath which he was born
    Was licking cold Milky Way.

    It's funny! Funny, yes it is! It is
    When seconds do not reach the light -
    The sound that does not reach the end -
    Unfinished flight, unfinished flight.

    It's funny? Funny, well, it's so -
    Funny to you, even to me.
    The horse that jumps and bird that flies -
    And whose fault could it be?

    By Vladimir Vysotsky
    Translated from Russian by Ilya Shambat
     
  2. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

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    Wow! I like it. I don't know Russian, but it sounds like a good job translating.
     
  3. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Translation is an art form of its own.
     
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  4. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

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    Yes, it is. I think you also must know the author's work quite well in so that the nuances of word choice are not lost.

    The idea of the unfinished is kind of haunting--and in a way conflicting with the idea of the finished. I kept thinking about this last night.
     

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