Looking for quotes
September 21, 2008 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Anyone speak Russian? I'm looking for any inspiring Russian (English too) quotes that will make my crush feel good.

A friend of mine is leaving for good at work. She is a 22 year old Russian student. There was definitely a quiet crush with timid glances and botched conversations, flirting and hugs. I was going to write an off-the-cuff poem-love note since Im usually better at those than in conversation. But it was not gelling so I bought her some uniquley New York souvernirs (novelty stationary, converse minipurse). I still want to write something though. I'm looking for some inspirational quotes or Russian proverbs, slogans for women empowerment suitable for a female economics student. I'll also take anything you can come up with in russian that may sound sweet (I realize this is cheating) or offers a vote of confidence or is inspiring to a young traveller.
posted by Student of Man to Human Relations (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
There's a beautiful Pushkin poem (which I just discovered, actually) called "Разлука", or "Parting." It's intended for a good friend, but it may work for this as well. Forgive the crudeness of my translation, I'm just doing it off the cuff.

В последний раз, в сени уединенья,
Моим стихам внимает наш пенат.
Лицейской жизни милый брат,
Делю с тобой последние мгновенья.
Прошли лета соединенья;
Разорван он, наш верный круг.
Прости! Хранимый небом,
Не разлучайся, милый друг,
С свободою и Фебом!
Узнай любовь, неведомую мне,
Любовь надежд, восторгов, упоенья:
И дни твои полетом сновиденья
Да пролетят в счастливой тишине!
Прости! Где б ни был я: в огне ли смертной битвы,
При мирных ли брегах родимого ручья,
Святому братству верен я.
И пусть (услышит ли судьба мои молитвы?),
Пусть будут счастливы все, все твои друзья!

For the last time, in the shadow of solitude
Our hearth-god hears my verses.
My dear school-friend,
These are the last few moments I share with you.
At an end are the years of our connection;
Our faithful circle has been torn.
Forgive me! Kept by Heaven,
Do not part ways, my dear friend
With liberty and Phoebus!
Discover love unknown to me,
A love of strivings, raptures, exaltations:
And may your days, soaring dreamlike,
Fly by in blissful silence!
Forgive me! Wherever I am--in the heat of mortal battle
Or on the peaceful shores of our native brook--
I'll keep the faith of sacred brotherhood.
And may (will fate hear my prayers?)
May your friends, all of them, be happy!
posted by nasreddin at 11:43 AM on September 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heh. I thought Pushkin would be a likely source, but I couldn't find an appropriate poem. I was hoping you'd show up, nasreddin, and your translation is excellent. (It's very hard to find "inspirational" material in Russian literature; Russians, for obvious reasons, tend towards the cynical.)
posted by languagehat at 2:50 PM on September 21, 2008


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