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Samstag, April 28, 2007

An interior shot from a copy of Eve . It seems lovely to me, because it has a huge window - actually a glass wall, then a wall where you can stick, paste and pin anything you like, and quite a cosy sofa to make yourself comfortanble with a book and a cup of hot chocolate, or a sketchbook, or a notebook where you work over translations of L.M. M. stories (but the other half of the sofa will be scattered with dictionaries then, though generally I work without a dictionary not to be distracted from the general feel of the story and look up words and phrases I need when editing).

A cosy touch

Just uploading a photo of my chocolate teddy-bear which I bought in Moscow duty-free shop when I went on my first business-trip to China. I think he's cute and sweet, but my mum says he's not very appealing, because he is too dark!

The Circle Game

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star
Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, when youre older, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We cant return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him,Take your time, it wont be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and dawn
Were captive on the carousel of time
We cant return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and roundIn the circle game
So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur
Coming true
Therell be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We cant return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and roundIn the circle game


Found this song by Joni Mitchell in my computer and ended up liking it a lot. Even did a drawing!
It's again about time, really bittersweet...

Mittwoch, April 25, 2007

Hospital Sketches

I went to see the doctor today on the subject of my cough, the coridor was full of queueing people and I just had to do something to amuse me half an hour or so (and I did not have a book!). Happily I had a notepad and a gel black pen. A man sitting next to me asked if I were an artist (!).

Louisa May Alcott has a book Hospital Sketches (which I never read, only remember the title from her short bio), and here come mine - also Hospital Sketches in a way

Mansfield Park

I took it out of the bookcase yesterday to finally start my reread - to sooth my nerves and this exhausting cough (again!) and I was all into the reminiscences of how I read it for the first time . In the second year at University my obsession with Austen was only at its beginning and I was only starting to discover her novels and I tried to get a novel by her wherever I could (several years ago it was not that easy as now, though the books were more or less available at a couple of bookshops). One beautiful May afternoon (right after the English phonetic contest where all our group performed a parody on books we read that year - that was fun, and turned out to be the best performance (I was Nora Parker, a housewife from a set of dialogues we used to learn and turn into indirect speech - Meet the Parkers - , in an apron, with a brush and a duster and curlers in my hair :))), and a girl from iur group won the 2nd prize and was chosen Public favourite) all exhilliarated by the fun and success of it all and a bit disappointed that the camera a girl from our group brought was broken and spoiled the film (no digital cameres then yet!) so we do not have a single photo to remember it. We all went home but I had some time before the ferry (yes, spring was that beautiful time when all long bus commutes were over and I could enjoyably travel from home to the Uni and back by the ferry) I decided to drop into the English books shop we used to have near the Uni and there I bought my copy of Mansfield Park (a Penguin paperback exactly like the one in the picture above) and happily went to the ferry. It was a delightful quiet evening, with smells of water and grasses and mellow sinlight mingling, and there was another absolutely unread and undiscovered Jane Austen novel on my lap. And poplars around the port, with their bittersweet smell... I'm getting nostalgic. But indeed, it was a very happy time with no other worry than how I would pass the upcoming English exam (and we were so scared about it, but I got my "excellent" and could hardly believe it), a whole summer ahead after a hard-working year and all those wonderful elegant novels to be discovered!
Now I'm really looking forward to rereading the book and see if my thoughts about characters change, I have not reread the book ever since that wonderful summer. Maybe, Edmund is not the most attractive Austen hero, but I like Fanny quite a lot, even though I wanted it to stand up to herself in the novel. I wonder what I think of Mary and Henry Crawford this time. And I must prepare to bear Mrs Norris. She might be the most irritating character in all the 6 novels!

Freitag, April 20, 2007

Another beautiful poem by Marina Tsvetayeva


Всё лишь на миг, что людьми создается.
Блекнет восторг новизны,
Но неизменной, как грусть, остается
Связь через сны.

Успокоенье... Забыть бы... Уснуть бы...
Сладость опущенных век...
Сны открывают грядущего судьбы,
Вяжут навек.

Всё мне, что бы ни думал украдкой,
Ясно, как чистый кристалл.
Нас неразрывной и вечной загадкой
Сон сочетал.

Я не молю: "О, Господь, уничтожи
Муку грядущего дня!
"Нет, я молю: "О пошли ему. Боже,
Сон про меня!"

Пусть я при встрече с тобою бледнею,-
Как эти встречи грустны!
Тайна одна. Мы бессильны пред нею:
Связь через сны.



All's for a moment, that people create,
Glimmer of new things dims,
But yet unaltered, like sorrow, remains
Contact through dreams.

Calming.. If but to forget.. but to sleep..
Sweetness of eyelids over eyes..
Dreams open fates of the future, and bind
For centuries.

All that I stealthily thought, is to me
Clear like a crystal clean.
Us, with a timeless and endless riddle,
United the dream.

I do not pray, "O God, make to vanish
Torment of coming day!"
Oh no, "Oh God, send to him about me
A dream," I pray.

May I get pale at the meeting with you -
Sorrowful is it to meet!
Secret is one: The contact through dreams. We are
Powerless before it.
If I could write poetry I would probably write something like that... Isn't it amazing how we search for our own emotions in things written by other people? (there's a quote on it in Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, but I can't remember it exactly at the moment).
Painting: Sleepless Nights by S. Zhukovsky, postcard of 1920s (the best picture to match the poem that I could find stored in my office computer).

Samstag, April 14, 2007

Пасха в апреле / Easter in April


Пасха в апреле

Звон колокольный и яйца на блюде
Радостью душу согрели.
Что лучезарней, скажите мне, люди,
Пасхи в апреле?
Травку ласкают лучи, догорая,
С улицы фраз отголоски...
Тихо брожу от крыльца до сарая,
Меряю доски.
В небе, как зарево, вешняя зорька,
Волны пасхального звона...
Вот у соседей заплакал так горько
Звук граммофона,
Вторят ему бесконечно-уныло
Взвизги гармоники с кухни..
Многое было, ах, многое было...
Прошлое, рухни!
Нет, не помогут и яйца на блюде!
Поздно... Лучи догорели...
Что безнадежней, скажите мне, люди,
Пасхи в апреле?


Easter in April

Eggs on a plate warmed the soul with delight
And ringing of bells.
What is more radiant than Easter in April, People, pray tell?
Rays are caressing the grass, from the street
Phrases and words...
Quietly I wander from porch to the barn,
Measuring boards.
Waves of Easter ringing, external dawn,
Like glow in the sky,
Sound of a gramophone of our neighbors
Bitterly cries,
From kitchen follows it endlessly woeful
Harmonica's sound,
Much has gone on, oh yes much has gone on..
The past, fall down!
No, I don't get help from eggs on the dish!
It's late... Gone are the rays..
What is more hopeless than Easter in April,
People, please say?


Poem by Marina Tsvetayeva (1910), both the original and an English. translation (I'm currently obsessed with her poetry and writings - there's something in them - the depth of feeling maybe - that speaks directly to my soul).

I've always been a bit uneasy about Easter. On one hand it is a hopeful holiday, but there's also something in the spring air that makes you feel so vulnerable...

Photo: our Easter eggs on Easter festive table.(last Sunday)

Mittwoch, April 04, 2007

LMM etc.

Well, I do not think this post is going to be particuarly interesting...
I'm just having a short break in the office to put it here. Looking forward to receiving the 1st 2 volumes of LMM diaries and also Annotated Anne of Green Gables, which ordered in January (long time, but still worth every minute of waiting!).
I love the photo on this cover, LMM looks so intelligent, elegant and ladylike here.
Have some Sunday spring photos, but I reach home so tired I just can't switch on the computer and transfer the pictures from the camera. Hope to do that before it's summer however!