Poetry to Bridge The Gap: To *** by Aleksandr Pushkin

If you ask any Russian on the street who his favorite poet is, in most cases they will answer: “Pushkin!” All schoolchildren in Russia learn his poems by heart. Many remember such poems as ‘Winter Morning’ and ‘Winter Evening’ —or parts from the novel in verse, ‘Eugene Onegin’, for example, the beginning of the first chapter, or a letter from Tatyana Onegin.

But everyone remembers the main Russian love poem, ‘I still recall…’, that Pushkin dedicated to his beloved Anna Kern by heart. (Russia Beyond)

The space between your feet and mine is the space where stand the nations divided. To bind and remake into oneness our separation, to remind us that we are, in essence, the scattered beating heart of one body—for that we have art, the first of many things.

[To *** by Aleksandr Pushkin]

I still recall the wondrous moment:
When you appeared before my sight
As though a brief and fleeting omen,
Pure phantom in enchanting light.

In sorrow, when I felt unwell,
Caught in the bustle, in a daze,
I fell under your voice’s spell
And dreamt the features of your face.

Years passed and gales had dispelled
My former hopes, and in those days,
I lost your voice’s sacred spell,

The holy features of your face.
Detained in darkness, isolation,
My days began to drag in strife.
Without faith and inspiration,
Without tears, and love and life.

My soul attained its waking moment:
You re-appeared before my sight,
As though a brief and fleeting omen,
Pure phantom in enchanting light.

And now, my heart, with fascination,
Beats rapidly and finds revived
Devout faith and inspiration,
And tender tears and love and life.