The Poets

December 05, 2015

Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev

I could detect an accent that was deeply Slavic in the very last patient I brought back yesterday- an elderly lady who was confined to a wheelchair. I couldn't resist and asked her if she would mind my asking its origin. Turns out, as I suspected, it was Russian.

I asked her if she knew who
FyodorTyutchev was and she looked at me with a sort of crazed astonishment- how the hell does this 'kid' know who Tyutchev is? I explained that I discovered his works about five years ago through translations rendered by VladimirNabokov, to which she smiled.

She said to me, “Listen”, and without missing a beat recited one of his poems in its entirety, in Russian!

Люблю грозу в начале мая,
Когда весенний, первый гром,
Как бы резвяся и играя,
Грохочет в небе голубом.

Гремят раскаты молодые!
Вот дождик брызнул, пыль летит…
Повисли перлы дождевые,
И солнце нити золотит…

С горы бежит поток проворный,
В лесу не молкнет птичий гам,
И гам лесной, и шум нагорный —
Все вторит весело громам…

Ты скажешь: ветреная Геба,
Кормя Зевесова орла,
Громокипящий кубок с неба,
Смеясь, на землю пролила!

I looked at her with crazed astonishm
ent! I told her how beautiful her delivery of it was, and she told me that in English the poem is called, Spring Storm (ВЕСЕННЯЯ ГРОЗА). I've read it, and Nabokov translation of it is gorgeous- I couldn't imagine how much better it must be in its native language.

With that said, and considering that on this very day in 1803 our poet, Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev, was born, I thought it would be awesome to post this poem as a tribute to his legacy and contribution to Russian literature and the realm of poetry itself. Happy birthday, Tyutchev.

Spring Storm

I love a storm in early May
When springtime's boisterous, firstborn thunder
Over the sky will gaily wander
And growl and roar as though in play.

A peal, another - gleeful, cheering...
Rain, raindust... On the trees, behold!-
The drops hang, each a long pearl earring;
Bright sunshine paints the thin threads gold.

A stream downhill goes rushing reckless,
And in the woods the birds rejoice.
Din. Clamour. Noise. All nature echoes
The thunder's youthful, merry voice.

You'll say: 'Tis laughing, carefree Hebe -
She fed her father's eagle, and
The Storm Cup brimming with a seething
And bubbling wine dropped from her hand. 


As of April 9th, 2010