Silentium Poem by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev


Rating: 3.0

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.

Tatiana V Pahlen 19 January 2020

I translated a part of this poem using it in my poem, quoting the line 10 differently. With all my love & adoration to Nabokov, his Pushkin's, translation of '" Eugene Onegin" was rather dry. Here we go, please check the very last line: The grand poet, Tyutchev, of Russian breed Stunned the world by quoting his own line: " The truth once spoken turns into a lie." Does it apply to those who write and read? I try my own injustice if it's high.

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Patti Masterman 17 September 2012

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.

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Kalina Bujakiewicz 28 February 2009

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

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Michael Wooff 27 February 2009

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.

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