Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev

(5 December 1803 – 27 July 1873 / Ovstug)

Silentium - Poem by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev

Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal
the way you dream, the things you feel.
Deep in your spirit let them rise
akin to stars in crystal skies
that set before the night is blurred:
delight in them and speak no word.
How can a heart expression find?
How should another know your mind?
Will he discern what quickens you?
A thought once uttered is untrue.
Dimmed is the fountainhead when stirred:
drink at the source and speak no word.
Live in your inner self alone
within your soul a world has grown,
the magic of veiled thoughts that might
be blinded by the outer light,
drowned in the noise of day, unheard...
take in their song and speak no word.

Comments about Silentium by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev

  • (9/17/2012 7:09:00 PM)

    This is so beautiful I can't even analyse it, it locks up my logic, wraps it up, and demands my attention only to the words and their sound running round inside my head. My hats off to the translator, a translator can make or ruin a poem, and I can't imagine changing one word of this one. (Report) Reply

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  • (2/28/2009 12:09:00 AM)

    That's a translation by Vladimir Nabokov :) Amazing, I can't agree more :) (Report) Reply

  • (2/27/2009 1:28:00 PM)

    My compliments to whoever translated this poem. There is a quasi-religious feeling emanating from it reminiscent of and akin to the Christian poetry of George Herbert and Gerard Manley Hopkins. It reads like the kind of thing you could buy as an item of calligraphy in a church or cathedral bookshop on a par with 'Footsteps' or 'Go Placidly'. Very good indeed. Well done both original author and his translator whoever he or she happened to be. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: magic, song, dream, alone, light, world, night, heart, rose, sky, star

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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