Intermediate Low/Mid Among the Worlds

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Listen to the poem by Innokentii Annesnkii and try your hand at translating the poetry.

This episode is one from the series for developing the skill of listening. You may master the art of listening through practice of listening Russian poetry with focus on what you are hearing.

My own taste in Russian poetry ranges beyond the classical Russian poets to modern poets. But there are Russian classics who seem to belong to the classical tradition and to the modernity at the same time. Innokentii Annenskii is one of those, whose sonorous, musical and lyric verses still ring true today and probably always will. The role Annenskii played in Russian literature was not fully appreciated during his lifetime. For whatever reasons 49-year old Concillor of State published his first poetry collection entitled Тихие песни Quiet Songs under the pseudonym Nik. T.-o (i.e., Никто "No one" in Russian). But posthumously he gained well-deserved praise from the Symbolists poets, although Annenskii was much more interested in Akmeism. Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilev, both graduates at Gymnasium in Tsarskoe Selo, where Annenskii taught classical languages and ancient literature studies and served as the Director of this school from 1886 until 1906, admitted his influence.

Annenskii was also famous for his translations of the Greek tragedies. Many of his poems are richly and complexly intertextual, thoroughly grounded in Greek mythology and influenced by his French counterparts Baudelaire and Verlaine.

Среди миров

Среди миров, в мерцании светил

Одной Звезды я повторяю имя…

Не потому, чтоб я Ее любил

А потому, что я томлюсь с другими.

И если мне сомненье тяжело,

Я у Нее одной ищу ответа,

Не потому, что от Нее светло,

А потому, что с Ней не надо света.

1901