“I’m waiting” (“Я жду”), Afanasy Fet


Fet believed the poet’s task was to highlight the difference between the world of the ideal and reality. For him, true joy was to be found in moments of oneness with nature. This short poem from 1842 epitomizes his philosophy.

I’m waiting… Trill of nightingale is
Rebounding over river’s glaze,
Beneath the moon the grass is spangled,
Upon the cumin fireflies blaze.

I’m waiting… Azure are the heavens
And in the stars both large and small
I hear my heart as it is beating –
My members tremble at it all.

I’m waiting… Southern breeze has whispered;
Now in its warmth I can exalt;
The star has taken westward journey…
Forgive me, golden one, my fault!


Я жду… Соловьиное эхо
Несется с блестящей реки,
Трава при луне в бриллиантах,
На тмине горят светляки.

Я жду… Темно-синее небо
И в мелких и в крупных звездах,
Я слышу биение сердца
И трепет в руках и в ногах.

Я жду… Вот повеяло с юга;
Тепло мне стоять и идти;
Звезда покатилась на запад…
Прости, золотая, прости!

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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