You think: wont fate tap
Like a walking stick at your dwelling?
And what is that beggar to you,
Who’s standing there on the street?
But we’re bound by a dreaful
Collective guarantee, and it’s not for
Some to be tormented with mortal anguish,
Others to drink wine with joy.
We are those who fall and moan
And those whose triumph is now.
We are that ship which is going down,
And the one who sank it.
by Георгий Авдеевич Раевский (Оцуп)
(Georgy Avdeevich Rayevsky) (Otsup)
translated by Albert C. Todd
Ты думаешь в твоё жилище…
Ты думаешь: в твоё жилище
Судьба клюкой не постучит?..
И что тебе до этой нищей,
Что там на улице стоит!
Но грозной круговой порукой
Мы связаны, и не дано
Одним томиться смертной мукой,
Другим пить радости вино.
Мы – те, кто падает и стонет,
И те, чьё нынче торжество;
Мы – тот корабль, который тонет,
И тот, что потопил его.
Additional information: Georgy Avdeevich Raevsky (Георгий Авдеевич Раевский) (real name Otsup; December 29, 1897, Tsarskoye Selo – February 19, 1963, Stuttgart) was a Russian poet and prose writer and author of articles regarding the theater. He emigrated to Paris in the early 1920s and was a part of the Cross roads group. In order not to be confused with his brother, Nikolai Avdeevich Otsup, he took the name of Pushkin‘s friend Nikolai Raevsky as a pseudonym . He wrote poems, stories, articles about music, parodies and epigrams. On a side note the book I referenced, published in the 1990s, gives his dates as 1897 to 1962 but Wikipedia gives them as 17 December 1897 to 19 February 1963 which I assume to be more accurate.
Rayevsky, whose real surname was Otsup, was the brother of the poet Nikolai Otsup and the son of the photographer of the Imperial Court in St Petersburg. He emigrated to Paris in the early 1920s and joined the Perekriostki (Crossroads) group, which appeared in 1926, together with Yury Terapiano, Vladimir Smolensky, Dovid Knut, and Yury Mandelstam. His poetry regularly appeared in émigré journals and resulted in three collections: Strofy (Strofes) (1928), Novye stikhotvoreniia (New Poems) (1946), and Tret’ ia kniga (Third Book)(1953). In the serious, philosophical aspect of his poetry can be seen Rayevsky’s religious approach to the world and perhaps, as in the poem here, and expression of the tragedy of emigration.
Biographical information about Rayevsky, p.331-332, ‘Twentieth Century Russian Poetry’ (1993), compiled by Yevgeny Yevtushenko (ed. Albert C. Todd and Max Hayward) , published by Fourth Estate Limited by arrangement with Doubleday of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc. (transcribed as found in the original text).
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