Friday, July 2, 2010

Tatyana's Letter

I've been reading some of this Alexander Pushkin guys' stuff lately. I watched the film Onegin the other day and it hit a note, so I checked out his poems. I love this following passage as the young impressionable Tatyana writes a desperately honest love letter to the worldly and handsome Onegin. Keep in mind that this was all written in Russian and translated to rhyme in the English language.

"Another!… No, no one on this earth
Is there to whom I'd give my heart!
That is ordained by highest fate…
That is heaven's will - that I am yours;
My life till now was but a pledge,
Of meeting with you, a forward image;
You were sent by heaven of that I'm sure,
To the grave itself you are my saviour…
In dreams you have appeared to me,
Though yet unseen, I held you dear,
Your glance and strangeness tortured me...
Before you the tears roll down my cheek,
And your protection I beseech
Deserving, I know, reproach and scorn."

In Onegin's later utter refusal of her offer of love he responds,
"But I was not born for happiness;
It is foreign to this tortured mind;
Your perfections are so much nothingness
To me, I am of the unworthy kind.
Believe me (my conscience is here guarantor),
As spouses we would suffer agony,
For, however much I adored you first,
Custom would cool me instantly.
Then you would weep, but all your tears
Would leave unmoved my stony heart
You interpret my heart, my nature,
as you wish to believe it.
In truth, I have no secret longing to be saved from myself."

Pushkin I think, might just be Russia's Shakespeare.
(OR is Shakespeare England's Pushkin? TWIST!)


  1. Beautiful. Your painting really captures it.

  2. Privet:
    Great art. I had my own Russian Tatiana and am writing a book about her . . . she said the Tatiana letter in Onegin was her soul. She used to like to draw on her balcony. Would you be interested in doing a sketch of her for my book?

    Denis Downey, LL.M.

  3. Hi Denis,
    Just saw your comment. So cool, I really empathize with the Tatianas of this world. Yes, I would be interested! Email me at and we can talk about your idea. Thanks for visiting,