Author Topic: Silver Age Poetry Written about Nicholas II and the Family  (Read 9448 times)

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Silver Age Poetry Written about Nicholas II and the Family
« on: November 15, 2004, 09:09:15 PM »
Can anyone recognize this poem and its author from my feeble description?

As I recall - this poem was written by a moderately famous Russian poet in the emigration (I thought Georgi Ivanov - but can't find this poem in his collected works!). It is about Nicholas, specifically about the famous photograph of him taken at Tsarskoe Selo in the spring or early summer of 1918, in which he sits on a tree stump gazing solemnly into the camera, his guards standing at attention behind him.  In the poem, there is a wistful reference to the buttons on the Tsar's tunic... I know that sounds ridiculous, but the poem as I remember it was actually quite moving. I believe it was written in the 1920s. I have not seen it translated into English, but now can't locate the Russian version either! HELP!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 04:27:50 PM by Alixz »

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Poem about Nicholas
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2004, 02:03:17 AM »
Georgi Ivanov (1894-1958 ) -a poet of Silver Age.
I only khow his one poem about Nicholas and his family (I believe Ivanov meant a famous photo of the family when writing the poem) .
Just 8 lines written in 1949
I know  Russian text and I could not find English version. I`ll try to translate (my native is Russian but I`m not a poet    ::))


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Re: Poem about Nicholas
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2004, 08:23:03 AM »
Thanks to Svetabel, the poem has been identified! It is actually a poem about Nicholas and his family.

Here it is in Russian (transliteration), followed by the literal English translation (any mistakes are mine):

Emalevyi krestik v petlitse
I seroi tuzhurki sukno…
Kakie pechal’nye litsa
I kak eto bylo davno.

Kakie prekrasnye litsa
I kak beznadezhno bledny –
Naslednik, imperatritsa,
Chetyre velikikh kniazhny…

An enamel cross in the buttonhole
And the grey cloth of the tunic…
What sad faces
And how long ago it was.

What beautiful faces
And how hopelessly pale –
The heir, the empress,
The four grand duchesses…
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Elisabeth »

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Poem about Nicholas
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2004, 02:23:51 AM »
Thank you for posting that poem, Elisabeth and thanks to Svetabel for indentifying it.   Rather haunting in English, and I'm sure it sounds beautiful in Russian.   ;)

I learn this short poem many years ago and was always impressed by it.The words are very simple but sound so sad and moving in Russian

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Re: Poem about Nicholas
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2004, 12:40:49 PM »
Another poem by Mayakovsky written after his visit to Ekaterinburg in 1928:

Is this the full text? It's given on page 395 of King and Wilson's "Fate of the Romanovs:"

Past Iset -
the mines and cliffs
Past Iset -
the whistling wind,
at verst Number Nine
the ispolkom driver
stopped, stood,
Here is a cedar,
axed over and over,
notches straight through the bark.
By the root of the cedar
a highway
and in it an Emperor -

« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 04:25:36 PM by Alixz »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152


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Re: Poem about Nicholas
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2005, 07:40:08 AM »
Hey, I got this off of Abby's sig, and it has a bit more:

Enameled cross in the tab against the jacket's grey/what hauntingly beautiful faces
they have all long passed away
Such resigned and sorrowful faces
so desparingly pale
the Heir, the Empress
the four Grand Duchesses
doomed to irretrievable bale

Otherwise I couldn't find it.

Offline Превед

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Re: Silver Age Poetry Written about Nicholas II and the Family
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 08:45:29 PM »
Verse from Norwegian republican and Scandinavist Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's poem Ved modtagelsen av sidste post fra Finland (At the Reception of the Last Post from Finland) from 1903 about NII's role in the Russification of Finland:

Men han som et folk henretter,
(det lykkes dog ingensinde!)
er født av en nordisk kvinde,
og lekte på danske sletter.
Å Danmark, hvis bøddelen kommer,
da vær ham en folke-sund dommer:
Forbyd ham at træde på jorden;
ti den er de fries i Norden!

But he who is executing a people,
(though it will never succeed!)
was born to a Nordic woman,
and once played on Danish plains.
Oh Denmark, if the henchman comes,
then be a folksy-sound judge of him:
Deny him to step on the earth;
because in the North it belongs to the free!

Another poem by Mayakovsky written after his visit to Ekaterinburg in 1928:

Is this the full text? It's given on page 395 of King and Wilson's "Fate of the Romanovs:"

Past Iset -
the mines and cliffs......

No, here is the complete poem:


Помню —
то ли пасха,
то ли —
и насухо
расчищено торжество.
По Тверской
стоят рядовые,
перед рядовыми —
едят городовые:
— Ваше благородие,
арестовать? —
за уши ус.
Пристав козыряет:
— Слушаюсь! —
И вижу —
катится ландо,
и в этой вот ланде
военный молодой
в холеной бороде.
Перед ним,
как чурки,
четыре дочурки.
И на спинах булыжных,
как на наших горбах,
за ним
в орлах и в гербах.
И раззвонившие колокола
в дамском писке:
царь-государь Николай,
и самодержец всероссийский!

Снег заносит
косые кровельки,
телеграфную сеть,
он схватился
за холод проволоки
и остался
на ней
На всю Сибирь,
на весь Урал
метельная мура.
За Исетью,
где шахты и кручи,
за Исетью,
где ветер свистел,
исполкомовский кучер
и встал
на девятой версте.
снегом заволокло.
Ни зги не видать —
как на зло̀.
И только
от брюха волков
по следу
диких козлов.
Шесть пудов
(для веса ровного!),
будто правит
кедров полком он,
снег хрустит
под Парамоновым,
Распахнулся весь,
— Будто было здесь?!
Нет, не здесь.
Мимо! —
Здесь кедр
топором перетроган,
под корень коры,
у корня,
под кедром,
а в ней —
император зарыт.
Лишь тучи
флагами плавают,
да в тучах
птичье вранье,
крикливое и одноглавое,
ругается воронье.

короны лучи.
дворяне и шляхта,
у нас получить,
но только
вместе с шахтой.

Свердловск, 1928.


The Emperor

I remember –
it was either Easter or Christmas:
everything was washed and then dried
for the celebration.
Along the Tverskaia
in lines stand privates
before the privates – police officers.
The policemen stare obsequiously
at their officers:
"Your Excellency, shall we arrest him?"
The police chief hooks his mustache
behind his ear.
The police officer salutes: "Yes, sir!"
And I see –
a landau is rolling
and in this landau sits
a young officer with a well-groomed beard.
Before him,
like blocks of wood,
four little daughters.
And on their pave-stoned backs
as on our own backs,
his suite follows him
covered in eagles and coats of arms.
And the mighty ringing of the bells
grows thin, a ladylike squeal:
"Hurrah! Tsar Nicholas
Emperor and autocrat of All the Russias!"

The snow covers
the sloping roofs,
it silvers
the telegraph network.
He gripped the cold wire
and was left to hang on it.
The whole of Siberia,
the whole of the Urals,
is covered by the fog of a blizzard.
Beyond the Iset,
where there are mines and cliffs,
beyond the Iset,
where the wind whistled,
the driver of the executive committee
fell silent and stopped
at the ninth verst.
The universe was covered in snow.
You can’t see a thing –
more’s the pity.
And only the traces of wolves’ bellies
follow the track
of wild goats.
Six puds (to make a round figure)
as if in charge of a regiment of cedars is he, -
the snow squeaks
under the feet of Paramonov,
the chairman of the executive committee.
He opens his coat,
he kicks the snow
with his boots.
"Was it here?"
- No, not here.
We’ve passed it! –
Here a cedar
was marked by an axe,
incisions to the root of the bark,
at the root,
under the cedar,
a road,
and under it –
the emperor is buried.
Only the clouds float like flags,
and in the clouds the lies of birds,
raucous and one-headed,
the crows curse.

Many are lured by the rays of a crown.
Welcome, nobility and gentry.
In our country you can get a crown
but only with a mine.

Sverdlovsk, 1928.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 09:19:31 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)