“TO —— (KERN)

This poem was written in July 1825 and dedicated to Anna Petrovna Kern (1800-1879).  It has the distinction of being labelled the most famous poem in the Russian language. This anonymous translation is followed by the original Russian text and then a comparison of the two texts.

I still recall the marvellous moment:
When you appeared before my gaze
Like a ghost, like a fleeting spirit,
Like soul of the purest grace.

In torturing fruitless melancholy,
In vanity and loud chaos
I’ve always heard your gentle voice
And glimpsed your features in my dreams.

As years passed and winds scattered
My long-past hopes, and in those days,
I lacked your voice’s divine spell
And the bless’d features of your face.

Held in darkness and separation,
My days dragged in strife.
Lacking faith and inspiration,
Lacking tears and love and life.

But the time arrives; my soul awakens,
And again you appear before me
Like a ghost, like a fleeting spirit,
Like the soul of purest grace.

Again my heart beats in rapture,
Again everything awakens:
My long-past faith and inspiration,
And the tears and life and love.

1825”

Excerpt From
The Works of Alexander Pushkin
Alexander Pushkin

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