January 01, 2009

Chtenia 5: Literal Poem Translations

Holiday Tree

Raissa Kudasheva
Line by line literal translation

Shaggy branches bend
Down to the children's heads;
Rich beads shine
With the play of fire;
One ball hides behind another
And one star --behind another.
Bright strands swing
Like golden rain...
To play, and enjoy themselves
The children have gathered here.
And to you, Beautiful-tree,
They swing their song.
It resounds and expands,
The chorus of children's voices
And, glowing, it sways
The luxurious decoration of the tree.


A spruce tree was born in the forest, in the forest it grew,
In the winter and summer it was tall and graceful and green!
The snowstorm sang songs to her: sleep, Spruce tree lully lay!
The frost wrapped her in snow: be careful lest you freeze.
The coward gray bunny hopped under the Spruce tree.
At times the wolf himself, the angry, wolf galloped by!

More gaily and amicably
     Sing children.
The Tree will more quickly dip
     Its branches.

In it are shining walnuts
     Golden ones.
Who here is not happy to see
     The green Spruce.

Hark! Snow in the dense wood is creaking under runners,
A horse with shaggy legs is hurrying, running,
The horse is hauling wood, on top of the lumber is a peasant man.
He cut down our Spruce tree at the very root...
Now you are here, all dressed up, you have come to us for the holiday.
And you have brought, much, much happiness to the children.

More gaily and amicably
     Sing children.
The Tree will more quickly dip
     Its branches

Pick for yourself
     What you like
Oh, thank you,
Beautiful Spruce Tree!

Translation by Lydia Razran Stone

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