26 May, 2008


'Tis time, my dear, 'tis time. The heart demands repose
Day after day slips by and with each hour there goes
A little bit of life; but meanwhile you and I
Together plan to dwell... yet lo! 'tis then we die.
There is not bliss on earth; there's peace and freedom though,
An enviable lot I long have yearned to know.
Long have I, weary slave, been contemplating flight
To a remote abode of work and pure delight.

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, 1834

I've let things slip of late, it's true. But exams, you know. Anyway, I found it hard to get hold of Pushkin that's not, y'know, in Russian. Not even really understanding their alphabet I have no idea what it sounds like. But this translation is nice (it's by Nabokov, author of Lolita)

1 comment:

alex said...

I was just reading Despair by Nabokov, in which he makes a reference to "the abode of pure delight" (pg. 63, pub. Vintage International) and some searching led me to this poem. The theme of contemplating life and death is consistent with that of Despair. Cool!