Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Alexander Pushkin


Today, for some strange reason, perhaps it was browsing in banana box poetry book bargains, who knows how these things work, I thought of Alexander Pushkin. It was a Russian ship. A cruise liner sailing out of Canada. And because I'd come across a drunken sailor and assisted him back to his vessel I was invited aboard and thanked with vodka. I remember only that the vodka was brown, the colour of whisky. This is the real stuff, someone assured me.

And so to the poet of the same name as the ship. What other poet has an ocean going cruise liner named after him, I wonder. Perhaps there is a case for naming the next Cunard liner after William Shakespeare or Samuel Beckett or Byron or D H Lawrence but I doubt it will ever happen. The Brits, as ever, can't seem to see beyond the royal family. I'll wager the next Cunard will be named Prince George. Any takers?  To reign or to rain, that is the question. Now shuffle those cards.

Epigraph to The Queen of Spades

In rainy weather
they gathered together
to play.

To double - redouble -
a stake was no trouble,
they say.

They did not find it hard
to entrust to a card
their pay,

So no day of rain
ever slipped by in vain,
 they say.

-----
Alexander Pushkin
1799-1837




9 comments:

  1. Very clever.

    A quiz is winging its way to your Mum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks, Pat. It will be a lovely surprise for her.

      Delete
  2. The average British could care less about the Monarch outside of honorary; as the average Catholic also could care less about the Pope, who is another museum piece and keeper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The world must have its icons.

      Delete
  3. I bet hard
    On this word of the bard.
    To loss I toss___
    And play the wrong card.

    __My rhyme? Not worth a dime. Smiles_! _m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An ace the deal
      One black card
      Leads to another
      We'll play the bard.

      Delete
  4. This translation is much more fun than others I've seen. Do you know whose it is?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I modified the verse structure in the Penguin Book of Russian Poetry as I think it is called. I will look to see who did it. Let you know. I like this poem especially, after seeing the opera Pique Dame a couple of times.

      Delete
  5. I love especially:
    "So no day of rain
    ever slipped by in vain,
    they say."
    So very appropriate to the weather at the moment. One has to pay attention not to let slip away one of those grey days we have at the moment.

    ReplyDelete

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