Learn Russian From Клеопатра (Cleopatra) By Aleksandr Blok

Written byAlina Sinitcyna

Aleksandr Blok is one of the best poets from the Symbolist artistic movement. He has strong influences of Vladimir Solovyov and Aleksandr Pushkin. These influences are quite notorious throughout many of his poems. He was born in 1880 in the populous city of St. Petersburg. His father was a dedicated man who encouraged him in plenty of academic activities. That is why that he began to write since he was 5 years old. However, he began elaborating poems at the age of 17. In 1903, he got married with Liubov Mendeleyeva who was his love forever. In fact, the majority of his poems were dedicated to her. In 1906, he received a philology degree at the prestigious St. Petersburg University. In 1905, he became a political activist by supporting the Bolshevik cause. Since then, his poetry turned into a pessimistic and ironic style. The most important productions in his literary career are 'Verses about the lady beautiful' Dvenadtsat the Twelve and The Scythians.

Poems in Russian


Открыт паноптикум печальный Один, другой и третий год. Толпою пьяной и нахальной Спешим... В гробу царица ждет.

Она лежит в гробу стеклянном, И не мертва и не жива, А люди шепчут неустанно О ней бесстыдные слова.

Она раскинулась лениво Навек забыть, навек уснуть... Змея легко, неторопливо Ей жалит восковую грудь...

Я сам, позорный и продажный, С кругами синими у глаз, Пришел взглянуть на профиль важный, На воск, открытый напоказ...

Тебя рассматривает каждый, Но, еслиб гроб твой не был пуст, Я услыхал бы не однажды Надменный вздох истлевших уст

Кадите мне. Цветы рассыпьте. Я в незапамятных веках Была царицею в Египте. Теперь - я воск. Я тлен. Я прах.

Царица! Я пленен тобою! Я был в Египте лишь рабом, А ныне суждено судьбою Мне быть поэтом и царем!

Ты видишь ли теперь из гроба, Что Русь, как Рим, пьяна тобой? Что я и Цезарь - будем оба В веках равны перед судьбой?

Замолк. Смотрю. Она не слышит. Но грудь колышется едва И за прозрачной тканью дышит... И слышу тихие слова

Тогда я исторгала грозы. Теперь исторгну жгучей всех У пьяного поэта - слезы, У пьяной проститутки - смех.

Aleksandr Blok


The mournful waxworks has been open For one year, two years, three years now. An insolent and drunken crowd, We run... The queen is waiting in her grave.

She lies inside a coffin of glass, She's neither dead nor living, While people whisper endlessly Immodest words about her.

She's stretched herself out lazily Forgetful ever, ever sleeping... A snake, deliberate and light, Attacks her waxen breast...

I, too, contemptible and venal, Blue circles underneath my eyes, Have come to glimpse the noble face, The wax that's bared for all to see...

Let everyone examine you, But, had your coffin not been empty, More than once I would have heard A proud sigh leave your rotting lips

'Burn incense over me. And scatter flowers. In ages long-forgotten I was the queen in Egypt. Now I am wax. I'm rot. I'm dust.'

'O, Queen! I am your prisoner! In Egypt I was but a slave, Now fate's bestowed on me The lot of poet and king!

Can you now see from in your coffin? How Russia, just like Rome, is drunk with you? And that in time both I and Caesar will Appear as equals before fate?'

I'm mute. I look. She is not listening. But then her breast heaves slightly She breathes beneath the gauzy cloth... And now I hear her quiet words

'Back then I used to call forth storms. And now I'll call forth burning Tears from a drunken poet, And laughter from a drunken whore.'

Aleksandr Blok

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Author: Alina Sinitcyna
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