Thursday, July 22, 2004

I Loved You

Every once in a while, I think of this poem I read when I took Russian in highschool. I remember being so struck by the simplicity and sincerity of it. It's a poem anyone could write, but took Pushkin to do it.

The poem has stayed with me all these years. Pushkin was my voice again and again. Many times, I wanted so badly to recite this poem aloud, yet never had the courage to. I just thought I'd share with you a part of me:

Я вас любил

Я вас любил: любовь еще, быть может,
В душе моей угасла не совсем;
Но пусть она вас больше не тревожит;
Я не хочу печалить вас ничем.

Я вас любил безмолвно, безнадежно,
То робостью, то ревностью томим;
Я вас любил так искренно, так нежно,
Как дай вам Бог любимой быть другим.
-- Alexander Pushkin

Translation:
I Loved You

I loved you so, perhaps I love you still;
For in my soul love isn't yet extinguished.
But let this give you not one moment's spill:
I'd never want to cause you grief or anguish.

I loved you silently, hopelessly,
To shyness and to jealousy condemned.
I loved you so sincerely, so tenderly,
May God grant you a love like this again.
-- I modified a translation by Douglas Robinson to follow the meaning of the original more closely. It is still a sad approximation of the wonderful work.

You can see now, the poem leaves a great question. Does he still love her? That is always a good question.