Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

(6 June 1799 – 10 February 1837 / Moscow)

To ----


I remember the marvellous moment
you appeared before me,
like a transient vision,
like pure beauty’s spirit.

Lost in hopeless sadness,
lost in the loud world’s turmoil,
I heard your voice’s echo,
and often dreamed your features.

Years passed. The storm winds scattered,
with turbulent gusts, that dreaming.
I forgot your voice, its tenderness.
I forgot your lovely face.

Remote in my darkened exile,
the days dragged by so slowly,
without grace, without inspiration,
without life, without tears, without love.

Then my spirit woke
and you, you appeared again,
like a transient vision,
like pure beauty’s spirit.

And my heart beats with delight,
and ecstasy, inside me,
and grace and inspiration,
and tears, and life, and love.

Submitted: Tuesday, January 21, 2003

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  • Francine P (10/13/2009 5:17:00 PM)

    I would also like to add that to 'To-' is actually addressed as To.....A.P. Kern, a reference to Anna Kern, whom the author met in 1819. Sadly, the sentiments expressed so beautifully in this poem to her was short lived. Not long after this poem was written he acquired quite a different view of her. (Report) Reply

  • Francine P (10/13/2009 5:08:00 PM)

    I also have another translation of this poem. I've read numerous translations of this poem and the following (as translated by Walter Arndt) is by far my favorite.

    I recollect that wondrous meeting,
    That instant I encountered you,
    When like an apparition fleeting,
    Like Beauty's spirit, past you flew.

    Long since, when hopeless grief distressed me,
    When noise and turmoil vexed, it seemed
    Your voice still tenderly caressed me,
    Your dear face sought me as I dreamed.

    Years passed; their stormy gusts confounded
    And swept away old dreams apace.
    I had forgotten how you sounded,
    Forgot the heaven of your face.

    In exiled gloom and isolation
    My quiet days meandered on,
    The thrill of awe and inspiration
    And life, and tears, and love were gone.

    My soul awoke from inanition,
    And I encounntered you anew,
    And like a fleeting apparition,
    Like Beauty's spirit, past you flew.

    My pulses bound in exultation,
    And in my heart once more unfold
    The sense of awe and inspiration,
    The life, the tears, the love of old. (Report) Reply

  • Lesley Duckworth (1/11/2009 7:35:00 PM)

    I have read this poem, and loved it for many years. However, I have a different translation (from Russian to English) I believe that I like mine better.
    To....

    I just recall this wondrous instant:
    You have arrived before my face -
    A vision, fleeting in a distance,
    A spirit of the pure grace.

    In pine of sorrow unfair,
    In worldly harassment and noise
    I dreamed of your beloved air
    And heard your quiet, gentle voice.

    Years passed. The tempests' rebel senders
    Have scattered this delightful dream,
    And I forgot this sound tender
    And how heavenly you seemed.

    In gloomy dark of isolation,
    My days were gradually moved,
    Without faith and inspiration,
    Without tears, life, and love.

    My soul awoke with decision:
    And you again came as a blest,
    Like an enchanting fleeting vision,
    A spirit of the pure grace.

    My heart beats on in resurrection -
    It has again for what to strive:
    Divinity and inspiration,
    Life, tears, and eternal love. (Report) Reply

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