Mirror Reflections – Portugal & Russia


A poem by: Luís Vaz de Camões in 1598

Como quando do mar tempestuoso
o marinheiro, lasso e trabalhado,
d’um naufrágio cruel já salvo a nado,
só ouvir falar nele o faz medroso;
e jura que em que veja bonançoso
o violento mar, e sossegado
não entre nele mais, mas vai, forçado
pelo muito interesse cobiçoso;
assi, Senhora, eu, que da tormenta
de vossa vista fujo, por salvar-me,
jurando de não mais em outra ver-me;
minh’alma que de vós nunca se ausenta,
dá-me por preço ver-vos, faz tornar-me
donde fugi tão perto de perder-me.


Like the weary sailor, the refugee
from wreck and storm, who escapes half-dead,
and then, in terror, shudders with dread
at the very mention of the name of the ‘sea’;
who swears he’ll never sail again, who raves
he’ll stay at home, even on the calmest days,
but then, in time, forgets his fearful ways,
and seeks, again, his fortune above the waves;
I, too, have barely escaped the storms that revolve
around you, my love, traveling far away,
vowing to avoid another catastrophe,
but I can’t, the thought of you breaks my resolve,
and so, I return to where, on that fateful day,
I nearly drowned in your tempestuous sea.

visit: http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poem/item/8413/auto/SHIPWRECK

Coastline of Kamchatka
Coastline of Kamchatka

To the Sea – By: Alexander Pushkin

Unfettered element! Farewell
Before me now one final time
You roll again that skyblue swell,
And sparkle with a pride sublime.

Like an old friend’s regretful sigh,

Like calls of fare-you-well through tears,
Your summoning sound, your sounding cry,
One final time now fills my ears.

Oh yes, my heart’s desired reach!

How often I in twilight went
Quiet and dark along your beach,
Wracked by a sacred deep intent1

Dear were the answers you would send,
Dim primal sounds, the chasm’s call
The silences of evenfall
And those impulsive flights of wind.

The humble sail of fishers’ slips,

With the protection of your mood,
Bravely amid your watertips,
But you, a Titan unsubdued,
Roll rough and drown a herd of ships.

‘Twas not my luck to leave the night

Fallen on this dry stirless shore,
To greet you, raptured into light,
And make my grand poetic flight
Across your crests forevermore

You called… I was enthralled aground. 

Vainly my heart in shackles strained.
By spells of potent passion bound
Beside the beaches I remained.

What’s to regret? Toward what far shoal
Could I my madcap voyage chart?
In all your open wilds, one goal
Could still have power to strike my heart,

One cliff…that sepulcher of glory

There a chill slumber in the west
Whelmed memories of a mighty story…
There was Napoleon felled to rest.

There rested he in tribulations.

And, after him as thunder, rolls
Yet one more genius of the nations,
One more commander of our souls2

Leaving the world his wreath forever
He vanished, grieved by liberty.
Seethe! Sound! Blow wild with angry weather.
He was your one true bard, O Sea. 

In him your spirit wrought its mark,

In your own image was he framed
Like you was potent, deep and dark.
Like you, an element untamed.

The world’s a void. Now in that cold

Whither, O Sea, would you with me?
In every land one fate takes hold: 
Each drop of virtue is patrolled
By technocrats…or tyranny3

So, Sea, farewell. I will recall
Your august splendor all my years.
Long shall your boom as evenings fall
Sound and resound within my ears.

To woods and hushful wastes, away

Imbued anew with you, I bring
Your gleam and shadow, cliff and bay,
And your dear waves’ blue rumoring. 

visit: http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.ru/2012/12/pushkin-to-sea-from-russian.html

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