Maximilian Guebris. Shelly in Russia

[*All the notes are below the main text.]

          How clever were those words of that perspicacious modern literarien, who said once that the true art of poesy survives but on the branches[*1]. Oh, how annoying this kind of eternal truth can be seem sometimes for a good number of those revolutionary experimentalists, who try to argue with their art “against the provenance”! – oh, how miraculous afterwards is going to be seen that inescapable metamorphose, which, as long they stays the poets and artist in their honest hearts, will happen to each one of them! To all their intellectual and esthetic protests and revolts, they will be reminded of their own words with one of those geniously-exhorcized shades, who consequently will show not any different but…a noble sympathy to the newly-coming state of whole-dreamt, whole-varied harmony.  

                                       The fate distracts – the time restore

                                        What man denies, what future takes.

 It is an exactly that what we ever can expect to see as a truly love-grown, humanly-sensitive tree of a generous poetic spirit and its culture; ‘tis more than a lot to say of the whole beauty and strength of those “branches”, with all the delicious and strangeously-survived fruits of alive poetic thought on them. – I’m pretty sure that Marinetti[*2], for example, if he was not killed in the car accident, he would meet a reincarnation of archaisticly-intricate Homer once again: exactly that Homer, to whom he used to wish not less than a total imperiously-poetic decay, but who would undoubtedly appear even on his own Marinetti’s latter branch as some, – what a fancy we think! – a some phantasmagoric… : –

                Once Marinetti was sat under tree in the shade of its branches;               

               Like a magus Newton he felt, dreaming the world’s phenomena;

                But that wasn’t a fruit, though felt on him, when he lifted his ^head up –

               ‘Twas a ghost of true Homer, up on a branch there sitting and smiling.– [*3]

 Something like that. – And whether it can be in a light of an irony or psychedelic shock, it stands (most) samely for any kind of “further-exploring infinity of a tongue”, which, by the law of whole poetic transfiguration, only can bring any stile and any ethos in ourselves onto the level of true cosmo-humanistic art; and ‘tis so when the prudent perspicacity of competitive intellect, as like in the words of that frank literarien, finally declares its only and especially poetic privilege, and that means a karmically (and sometimes, so illogically and so unpremeditatively ) found way from psycho-intellectual destruction into the sole-animating creation.

            All these are most inspireful thoughts can’t be addressed not to that brilliant theme, which is the noblest theme of a heart-given poesy of Sir Percy Shelly. And now, in the year of 220-th anniversary of his surpassing spirit on this Earth[*4], I am a modest poet from Russia, who’ve been, to my sincere honor, friendly suggested to write an essay about Shelly in this country, I find a great pleasure in trying to illuminate that poetic perspective of his genius here, what can be dreamt by me as another kindly-done step towards a whole of inter-cognition and inter-consideration in a wide poetic universe of Today and Tomorrow.

            Oh, truly mysterious and unique is empirical blossom in the godly poetic gardens of Human, on those its delicate branches, a blissful and ethereal growth of which is overshadowing a sacred realm of dream-keeping times enlightened (so unsamely sometimes) by their spirits to their prophesized continuation. (We’ve started our essay with an image of a majestic cultural tree, haven’t we?) In the thought of all Shelly’s in Russian poetic (and socially-cultural) life, suddenly I’ve been remembering of that paradoxical phenomena in living nature, what we (used to) know as a strange plant-branch of mistletoe (*omela) grown on the oak tree – that, what used to be a sacred godly plant in eternally-romantic Ellada, an old myth of which was so excitedly described once by “colossal” J.J.Frazer in his immortally-famous “Golden Branch”[*5]. – A strange seed so suddenly appeared to be homed in the body of thousand-year culture; in the shade of old darker tradition, it turns to become a beautiful individual life, and this, a kind of supernatural, a sign of infinitive Youth and Changes, grows together with the other “oaky-native” branchy manifestations of life, and it bless them with its godly-exotic existence, as if they would become an awaken ensemble of newly-sensitive and heroic Love in dreamingly-perfected world: a whole tree seem to be impregnated with spirit younger and livelier, which gives a new age (a new memory, and a new meaning) to its root, and ‘tis like a new age of Time’s and Life’s History, and like a Universal Saga hymned by unbound Word of a Soul; – all that is about Shelly’s poesy in around the transnational poetic world, in general, isn’t that? But, however, the way I see many a historical and cultural changes and moves especially in Russia during the last two centuries, that wouldn’t be a literary bluff or a kind of bad joke of me to say that even a latent, a subsequent influence of “shellistic global thought and spiritual influence”, in fact, did play a certain role in all those processes of growing a new sort of visioning and human mentality here. And, should say, it is so not because of those only impromptus of fortune, which once could made so-russian Pushkin to be a devoted admirer of Byron’s poesy, in fact, (is) much enlightened by strong poetic and so-english friendship with Shelly; or, the same way to say, not so because of that the books of Shelly used to be the closest to a heavy head of K.Marx, time he tried to rest it from many a “kapitalistic” analyses of his, – that Marx, who made revoltously new-russian Lenin out of “necessity to[*6]…dream” and to dream indeed of all of the Shelly’s sometimes…in watching the fire; – no, not so because of this, we can speak of recognizable meaning of “poetic message” of this English genius in Russia, but, preferably to say, rather because of that the whole sсenario of survival of Shelly’s poesy in this country, in this peoplehood’s cosm, esthetically touch any of those great epoches in the history of Russian ethical and cultural regeneration. And still that hasn’t lost its meaning in Russian achieved Today, and still that’s in forces to prognosticate its (viewed cosmopolitan) Tomorrow.

         …No, Shelly never particular was so popular in Russian reading clever spheres the way it could have been logically expected. Although his poetic “brilliancy” was always thought afar from the many “one-sigh-one-instant poesy” here, but his name startingly was never (thus) applausively heardable. In nineteenth century, that time, when his poems just were publishing in England, his great historical damnation to the world’s tyrants could be accepted in Russia with a kind of “Decembrist-like”[*7] sympathetic respect, whether his free-spiritual radicalism in a manner of cosmopolitanic religious and social antidogmatism hardly could find a great response in post-war patriotic society[*8], in which the priority of orthodox unity used to stay an uncriticable conception for the most of Russian cultural minds. Also the extra-reason of unpopularity of a poet was his style itself, too different to the composively-prefered russian in those days, and this also shows that particular dilemma in Russian poesy, what was meant to be the “divergence of the stiles immortally-inherited in the big history of World’s European literature and so those (others,) later-grown, more russian-sovereign poetic stiles”; and in this sense, that “deductively-improved”[*9], post-and-trans-alexandrian method of Shelly  (what was beautifully marked by Lee Hunt) couldn’t attract a big number of the ears and followers. But even so, a cosmogonically-garland and, in the same time, luxuriously human-sensitive substance of Shelly’s anglo-hellenic poesy had its inexorable growth and fortune.

             Well, a fortune…Nowdays, when the name of a poet Percy Shelly is worldly known, when we already have learnt a lot of the nuances of intellectually-paradigmatic struggle in the field of “the word and the manner”, (All matter of the business of the world is in a manner of the business of the word, – isn’t it?), we might have all the different thoughts and ideas about the first proper Shelly’s translation into Russian, as same as about the character of his first big translator in these lands – a russian poet Balmount[*10], but that would be rather a question of a sort of like, for example, “what kind of personality a tsar Nicolas the First could grow into, per that lucky chance, if gentle-hearted Shateaubriand[*11] (and not a dry german herr) suddenly will go for to educate him, that time a little son of Russian Emperor’s dynasty; and what, accordingly to it, would become like a whole look of Russian democratic society then and the whole state of Russian Empire as well?” (A big national, can say, a psychodramatic question, isn’t it?) From my side, I have a certain belief that the translations of Shelly, those are done by Balmount, in a big serious half of it, just simply couldn’t be created anyhow poetically (and ethically!) different than the way, and the manner with, it was actually presented by him, that time with a most-needed sense of literary-diplomatic tact. That time; – Pushkin was shot the years ago; a many-voiced chorus of “no-suicidal honor” copy-talents were singing the very fashion of his overwhelming style; the few stanzas of Shelly spontaneously tried by the some poets, were only the heritage of his romantic dream; – for a poet in Russia, it was quite a moral risk to decide to go for as such a kind of translation anyway. And that even a friendly (and often even so fair, to say) critique, what used to follow and still follows Balmount’s works up today[*12], – all those funny blamings of his, of Balmount, poetic trying to synthesize the imperiously-usual way of “orthodox-word” thinking within the themes and the images of so over-bound looking and praising Shelly, – that, in fact, could never argue against the actual literary-social maturity of the step Balmount did that year, when he decided to present his translation to opinion of a wide-open, non-english, in mass un-erudit russian public. – [Middle and small aristocracy and bourgeois, who used to buy books in russian shops, hardly could speak any dissent language, especially English in those days; – we say of Shelly’s unknowness, but we can compare it to the fact that even Pushkin, time he was alive yet, Pushkin himself was never known in a wide russian auditory of the readers, but his name was recognizable only in a very elite progressively-educated circles; – what can we think then of a whole rarity of foreign Shelly?! And what can we think then of whole strangeness and provocativeness of his thoughts to many a russians of that time, if even nowdays “the traditional orthodox for-censor mind” still sometimes manipulates but again with Pushkin’s even most native images, like for example in its today’s hypothetic ambition to change his “A Priest and a Fool” into more excusive “A Landlord and a Fool”?[*13] Can we ever be so sane then to think that Shelly’s (and so, his honest translator’s) potentially life-promissed anathema was just of a sort of a some far ethereal chance?] – Yes, he was more self-composive, self-stylish[*14], careful Balmount, in his translation, in trying to compromise with the poetic measure and the rhythm; indeed, in his contexts, he’ve used those russian words, which were expressing rather more of the eternally-superior wisdom than a “superincumbent”[*15], prometheisticly-sacred feeling of a poet original; of course, in all subjective sense, we easy can start to think all that why and how a Gentle Peacefulness (get) start to speak for a Stormy Elementality in this world and in the latter memory of this world, (but) however we’ve got to realize then, that we only can be allowed to turn this way anyhow critically only by chance, that actually there is a some predominant purport and there is its some good content in all those talks and speaking we’ve meant; – and…, yes, I can say there is that, be-named a life-calling purport within even those first russian translations of Shelly, and, as a poet and translator myself, I won’t be a big flatterer also to accept that 19th-cen Balmount’s work[*16], in general, is still likely more erudite and logically written poesy among a certain number of the many other past and modern translations. Still you are a big authority for many a guide-seeking admirers of Shelly’s poesy in these lands, Mr Balmount[*17]; – Ah, what a real start ‘twas, all we can say!

         …We look now onto those past scenes of a whole hundred-year poetic “psycho-lingua-battle” in the spheres of russian cultural thought “for alive stile”, “for a word of democratic renovation”, and, in hearing the arising noise of historically-growing, spiritual and esthetic dispute on those “things which once were minded to be free”, oh, how much we can be surprised with that special truth, which undoubtedly say of whole common karma for any “phrasingly-  intellectual intrigue” of that time: and that was meant the kind of consequent moral repentance almost in one each of the sufficiently-creative dreamword-makers, repentance for a sort of unintentional encouraging the…somewhat, in time next, has become a strong demoralization of the “pride and fortune of the tongue”. That what was done neither much because of the using a word easier to a ruder common ear, nor because of experimental speculation with grammar and rule also, but especially because of discrowning a sensitive ethos of the word continuing its soul. And, – oh, fact unbelievable! – among the many examples of poesy original and translated in Russia, there was one only, which kept a “prometheistic” prophesy in it for this sort of future, with all the sympathetic thoughts to it; – and that was Shelly’s. That been-provoked a kind of retreat (in recognizable part of the process, done very ethimologicaly) from fundamentally-european poetic paradigm and so the manner, – the effect of which later has become a mental catalyst for a global restructurisation of “russian creatively-artistic dialect” in a whole of Russian modernity, – in its progress, (for whatever strange it could be seem like) it has turned much cruelly then against the nature of Russian language itself, against its native harmony, and consequently it was manifesting a start of a new cultural epoch: the epoch of commonly-social castrating the language[*18]. – Isn’t especially this sort of warning, what Shelly used to keep in his “prometheistic” revelations for all the future hearts and minds, and tongues? – “The fear of the loftiest mind is in that truth, what stays in low” – this, or something like this (I don’t remember that line so clearly now, and original Shelly’s text, sadly, is not with me) once was said by evil-eyed Fury of the Future torturing archangelic Prometheus. What a provision! All those changes, linguistic and ethical, which were happening by the way of distraction the sensitive harmony of word-perception, – all that was prognosticated by a product of a genius poetic thought, still so different, and more and more becoming classically-different to many intellectual creations of “socially-human foresight” in Russia, a country of “another sound and another eye”[*19]. – Yes, Shelly, in his wild experiments with language, in his time, also let himself to play a word and expression freely, but he was never an abuser (for not to say an enemy) of language’s soul, and this way his figure can’t be comprehend anyhow different than as an honorable warrior of Grace and Human Tact on this many-tongued Earth. (“If only I exist in those words…” – The first call of Prometheus to Mother Earth.) – Ah, not his creations were becoming a main poetic “life-triumphant”[*20] testament for Russia of those days, but…                                                    

               By the time, when esthetic changes in sphere of constractively-poetic language (what means, not just a pathosly-extoling form of it) [have] started to move the ethical boundaries in practical methods, opinions and views of the socially-cultural be-said manner-builders, – when newly invented stiles were becoming a necessary projector of changing people’s reality, – Shelly’s name was already somehow effectually recognizable in mass of russian publications. As such a colossal intellectual authority in Russia as Belinsky and Gerzen[*21] have/had already shared their both interests and respect to a genius, and his futurologic ideas, in some part of it, already had its influence on the good and the bad minds of revolutionary-awaking Russia. And, especially for Poesy here, that was a time, when a powerful new stile a futurism was becoming more and more dominant. (Not too meaninglessly, in the beginning of this essay, I’ve mentioned Marinetti’s figure – exactly that Marinetti, who, in a whole big world of modern poetic European thought, have got his popularity only…in Russia, sooner coming to be the State Soviet.) It will be quite fair to say that if we look in later time of early 20’s and so 30’s of 20th century, when Mayakovsky-inherited “creative ethos” of Marinetti’s futurism became, rather to say, a stately poetic manner of stile, then we can objectively see a fact that the finest examples of historically-developed, elegantly-sensitive and brilliantly-alive Russian language has become staying more and more within the products of translational works, rather than within the original russian creations, the best of which were suffering the sovietically-abusing practices of “Banishing an Elegant”. That presented “death” by futurism[*22] wasn’t a contra-esthetic nonsense anymore, but that has become like a horrid new-reigned phantasm in russian fields of the great poetic, ethically-linguistic sorrows, growing with each deadly-said word for a welcomed destruction. How opposively-different then, we can see, a “death” of Sir Percy Shelly was to it[*23]! How much esthetically and culturally different that humanistically-cosmopolitanic Image of his was [done to be compared] to the dreams of disharmony and disnaturalisation offered by a betrayer of the thousand-year poetic ethos Marinetti! And how generously Shelly’s “death” was sharing its truly life-giving, “unbounding” light and the meanings in between the other parts of still somehow “translatively survived, translatively creaped” great memory of godly poetic immortality in Russia – a country, a bloody dream “futurized” with!… To all the sympathies shared in the history for a fate of a world poetic tree in Russia in all that period since the end of 19th-cen until the days nationally anti-gracious, it is very sad to admit the truth that there were staying almost no natively-devoted poetic inheritors and so developers of the great european classitude, when the surpassingly-high, eternally-noble, “classically-deductive” thought of a poetry was inexorably dissolving into the mass of a kind of “around-about the image” type of prose, in staying less and less on the surface of natural poetic process; but even this way “the sensitive alchemy of word and dream” has worked: – exactly like it was happening to “russian” Shelly, when even so ‘twas look like his cosmo-intelligent poems were only (critically) dry squashed for a thought of moral indulgence for a “red feast” political ribald, – the remembered images of a poet then however were staying much like the “exhorticists of the lyric sigh” in all those who, time at the time, with all their inexpressible love in their lines, just shortly did mentioned that they actually somehow can be erudite in Percy Shelly’s. And time later it was certainly like almost everyone, who were “to read to think” in Russia, at least have heard of a “high-born poet in his poet’s tower”[*24],…whether, alas, the fortune couldn’t bring a spectaculously loud talk about it yet…     

             About that, why socialistically over-exulted Lenin was never particular willing to crown a social idealist Shelly to be whole-massively named then as a first-singing poetic Skylark of all a revolutionary in Russia, we might ask a god of history (in) the same way like we would have ask him either of why a most poetically-heroic and worldly-known story of immortal Shelly’s heart was never properly embodied yet in big russian poetic literature at all, and until now, the days present[*25]. To say: – because of too much of immaterial or differ-side romanticism in that lyric, which could be seem as a kind of…yes, even a sensualism sometimes in these lands, – that what in a very fact was a worst vice in original thought of alive Shelly himself[*26]?! – Here I won’t start to describe actually all of the translatory’s neuanses, which so-called a poetically-bilingual academistic unity did thought also in trying to adopt Shelly’s poesy in russo-lingual space during all those decades, since the time of a first translation until the time proper sovietic; – that simply wouldn’t be possible because of quite a limited format of this essay. – The truth this way somehow symbolically comparative is that “a skylark” was thought to be Gerzen (well, in objective sense, that wasn’t done undeservingly), and, on the whole, a main bird symbol of soviet revolution was so far not a skylark at all, but principally a stormy petrel. (That very image a poet Gorky had pictured in his famous poem.[*27]) Why all ‘twas so; – why so far not even “a stormiest” Shelly was seen as this kind of a petrel and especially as a “those days’ those winds’ russian petrel”?… Not somewhat else than a social perspicacity can tell us that there was simply no chance for a shelly-like anti-tyranic, anti-doctrinistic poetic philosophy in that anti-utopic state, what was so-called “the state of liberty, equality and brotherhood”, and…we might look also at… We might better go further now on our essay…

             Oh, genius of a heart-eyed poesy prophetic! Oh, how much fair were all your maddest, frightening words!… Yes, we look now at all those latter scenes of a post-revolutionary russian reality, and we are getting shocked in realizing that how sincerely honest and objective a poet actually was in his art, when he fancily was expressing all his worries for the worst consequences of even a finest dream of his, – when, living through his verses, he was advocating then the soul of his dream for its only presumption: to stay a light for the newer, later-coming human dreams, surviving through its darker hour. This is a particular that unique sense of a poetic tact and spiritual responsibility we ever can wish to see in someone, who whenever starts to predispose us to (our) any kind of whatever sort of fancied future. – The reality of human drama of 1937th – the monsterous shade of romantically-heroic Idealism, what was like a darkest transfiguration of the most delightful early dreams for “life’s unboundancy”, – that was an absolute earthly reproduction of all what could be ever “of a Ribald’s thought doomed to be damned back with exhorcised Shade of darkened Planet”; – you do remember those very mystic images from a scene of Prometheus’ insight and that terrible Phantom of Jupiter, who “came to witness for the evil done, still waiting for its (finest) recompence”[*28]; – yes, all that emotionally-titanic socio-spasms, which were happening then and time after, was in a very eye of a gentle soul English poet a foreseer Percy Shelly. Those years; – a colossus of eternal tree of culture was suffering the terrible winds, and many a lovely branches were broken by the fierce revenge of blindly blown Violence and Betrayal; and many a furies of a worst kind of Man’s temper were playing their murderous jokes upon the minds and the lives of those few, who alike the stoical children of Agaseurus[*29], unchangeable in their timeless feeling and unsurrendered to the evil surrounding, were still struggling to protect the alive branches, and still they were giving their lives into a hell’s battle with a new moralist a Tyrant – one, who time and again in the history came to usurp a name of peoples’ God. – Undoubtedly, through all those nervous scenes, a human-intelligent Shelly’s branch was staying much as ought to be forever blessing, aught of compassionate and spiritually helping. – Yes, that’s how we are looking now at his surviving, life-guiding heritage in those types of translations, which historically were predetermined to be appeared in the time of disasterous russian stalinism.

              I’m trying to think now of that possible range of the different esthetic opinions on that what Shelly’s poetic voice expressively should be sound like in russian critical and literary-professional circles of friends and their traitors, – yes, now we can be doubting not of that how many a foxy traitors were waiting for the chance to recorrupt another piece of human soul-word just for a little extra-indulgence of their consequently slavery fears and shames; – but, to my eyes, there were particular two only kinds of such a translations, which ever could stay witnessing of the honestly shared feeling ’gainst the most of what Anti-Man really was in those years; and if the good memory of russian translatorship will never forget an authoritable name of a poet Boris Pasternak[*30], then, from my side, I should mention somehow a name of a shellist Merkurieva[*31]. Cause, her example in some sense, can be said, is rather unusual, although it was an absolute product of its time. – We can’t be agreed not with that fact that the history of Shelly’s thought in Russia yet never knew as such a Christian-like interpretation: in parts, impressively non-protestant, recognizably non-atheistic. Oh, Mdm Merkurieva was even braver than Balmount himself in this sort of way of ethimological trying to go against the unquiteness of Shelly’s unsurrendered sacred truths, but who will be ever doubting today in some moral necessity of such an alternative ethical step, which was done, in fact, in so anti-humanly suppressed cultural lifesphere in Stalin’s Union, and especially in a year 1937th? The symbols and images, and the main ethimology in that work were…, – can’t escape a slightly irony here, – …in some lines, it was even atavistically contradictive to the meanings original, almost like there was coming a sooner-built proper cross wooden upon the unlimited grave of a free natural spirit, – for example, like it could be seem in her “Alastor”; – and so it was look like there were a strong christianic censor accents done in that intelligent sphere towards the orthodox moralization for strengthening the opinion of “traditional judge”, whether, other way thinking, we might only stay guessing of what could have happen to a gentle translator per that chance, if his or her translations were done in more convincingly-unpeaceful way, with all embodied demonism of dark Hellenic Shelly: – wouldn’t be there so the Stalin’s Department of Anti-spiritistic (Anti-satanic) Social Struggle[*32] will ever stay uninterested in some sort of continuation of this socially-creative theme? – A joke? – Even so, but that was a time of both sides’ both truths’ exorcised Hell, judging a human mind… Of cause, compare to Merkurieva’s, Pasternak’s translations of Shelly were much more blossoming with the many different tints of the accents and intonations, although we’ve got to comprehend him was seeing a different sort of war, and this war so far wasn’t only a war between Man and his blinded Conscience, but a war of whole blinded World History against Man’s Consciousness. The dark side of imperialistically-exorcised truth of Homer was a cruel view of this world, and all ‘twas very powerful upon a mind of a humanist Pasternak, and in the state of being much hurt inside with all “stalin’s craft” done in Russia, and too, being shocked with roared “hitlerschaft” his thoughts horrifying, a poet was intonatively showing in his work…yes, a great sorrow for the Man’s madness,   but, dare to say, still lesser of a Man’s “will to change”; – that, what probably was quite a reason why his deep passion for Shakespeare has grown upon all the other poetic interests so impressively, whether, in Shelly’s world, his humanly-talented sense have been improved in the images mostly (those were) tempted to become fatally natural, “righteously elemental” – [what, in fact, is forever a good part of whole Shelly’s vision too] – and that’s how as such a beautiful and a wise poem, for example, as “Ode to Western Wind”, was done by a hand of this russian poet. Oh, much nobly! And to all that, what can be said of so-thought a recognizable (and also him-witnessed too) slightly poetic unconfidence of Pasternak in a strangest part of mysteriously limitless Shelly, I will only say that his critical touching essays written by him on Shelly in russian periodicals, in fact, can over compensate a bit of loss of possible, so-called a deeper professional focusing on Shelly’s themes, and – let me start not to touch the practical nuances of those very accents, which are still waiting to be redone once-again in the history of this (sort of) translations, otherwise it will all grow into a very long scholarship talk of a similar sort of questions like, for example, in the case of “russian” Shakespeare too, when we’re still arguing in this country if there’s ethical and esthetical need to dig into Lear-like mysteries of all symbolistic “monkey name’s jungling (a) game” within the shakespearian text or not.

           …It might be very surprising for someone to hear if I’ll say that when I am thinking of all, what the whole mass of “russian time” in Shelly’s wise eyes particular should be, then simply I can’t find another better explaining example than a psycho-philosophical model of the First Act in Prometheus Unbound. And, here means, only the First Act still – and yet far not the proper Act Second. And even so an opposite opinion of a number of the yesterday’s and today’s russian critics can successfully play with the images of “jupiteristic fall” of the despotic power and regime in Russia, – even so, I will explain it not differently than by the way I’ve mentioned it here from just my point of view. – “That’s just a spasm…”[*33], – you do remember all those fears and all the saved hopes expressed in very lyric sighs of two devoted nymphs the sisters, don’t’ you? Oh, exactly! Exactly this I mean when I am saying of the First Act. And let me also be quite deductive to say that those latter, post-war, post-stalin translations – oh, what are they if not the echoes of the voicing good Spirits of Spring and Refreshement? Time after the furies all gone, time when awaken Love for a New Day have started to spread its dearly-prophetic light onto the past scenes going to be recharged and rehabilitated… (Yet I am saying not of Asia arising)… So, if we look at translations, for example, were done by well-known Samuel Marshak, a translator of newer epoch, in the years 1940s – 50s+, then – especially in the short poems – we easy can recognize a very sensitive “contrast of a temper”, which was nothing else but aught of a changing feeling of Time in a man, wasn’t it? That’s how if we look, for example, at him-translated Shelly’s “Winter”(1819/1943) and too “Summer and Winter”(1820/1947), then we can clearly say of that “work of the theme itself” within the chosen poetically-thought structures, and ‘tis like we can tell Marshak’s newly-sang “summer” from the “winter – an emotional remainder of his Marshak’s Winter of 1943d”, and this all is in one poem of 1947th, which artistically express the character of “russian time, russian (social) weather”’s changing. By the time, already post-stalinistic, Chruschev’s time, when Marshak have published a proper book of his poems (1959), we can see there a rhapsodic harmony reached “between a poetically-drawn Seasons of Epoch passed”. A loveliest summer full of sweetness and blooming; a gloomiest winter full of Life’s melancholy and funeral-echoed depression; – but when the best of the theme all goes into minor, then after it all goes away until a faintest sound will drown down into lyrical eternity, and – recognize that! – our touched souls are just expecting then to feel a season new, coming after this scene closing. – Oh, not a whole-imagined Spring it is going to be? Not like in between the Vivaldi’s “seasonable” chapters it attracts our poetic hearing for us just to take a breath and feel ourselves being all-blessed with a theme victorious next? – Prometheistic wisdom tell us that the echoes of Love Dream shaded goes there where the New World will come from, and this is exactly that, meant to be, “a whole poetic prophecy”, which perfectly explains…- yes, we’ve mentioned it exactly right in the first lines of this small indention.

              And – “Look! More spirits came!”[*34]; – all the serious fragments of Chruschev’s “warm spell” in russian social life, all the changing boundaries of the world known with its human feeling and its imagery already in 60s and so later, – all, in its perspective, can be seen accordingly to the scenes of the “first dramaturgian framing of a whole way of spiritual progress for One (just) done to be Unbound (Prometheus)”. And this way, see: the unbound cultural ambitions for Knowledge, for historical Honesty, and so for the humanized Language – are all motivated by now to be unbound from the early need to be fought for: – it is principally going to be comprehended for its peaceful acceptance. That’s how, if we’ll look once again at the whole poetically-shellistic process in Russia, since the first Borodin’s[*35] (and not even Balmount’s) translator trying, we also can find that the language – we’ve pointed it fundamentally, haven’t we? – the structural Russian language itself (the way it survived through spasmically ethical breaks) have started to rise in the poetic minds of the “next movers” quite springfully: a sign for “recovering the word early-frightened of its rape and damage”, a delicate soul of which was hiding in the shade of far branches ever-classically unsurrendered to any evil and any indignity – it arose in the fresher air of the land to hymn the democracy of freer season, and…

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                                         Like an awakening Skylark’s song

                                         It was ‘mongst Spirits heard. [*36]   

                                                                                                  This newly-grown russian mood, already in 70’s+, was expressed by Wilhelm Levik – yes, one of the translation of whom was exactly, especially that all-loved, all-idolized “Ode to a Skylark”. In remembering that, what we used to call before as a live-kept sense of a poetically-human tact within the types of “translations of its time”, my opinion can be, in a good part of it, quite positive. Though, the way we’ve mentioned it, we’ve got to take an advantage to keep an advocating sight for a shellist as a context-maker in about the practical globe of the great news followed the civil and so poetic “break through”, and in such a sense we can’t escape to keep a little sigh for all, what… – Oh, even “Russian Gagariniad”[*37] could have been that super subject the way it forever deserve to be poetically contextualized especially within the Shelly’s translations.., and we are not even saying of the “world atom theme”, the bright specks of which would have décor as such a poetic texture with the newest tints of light of Ethos and Grace universal; – but, in thinking all such, we only can wish a further progress to a russian poetic word itself “still only being thought to fly over the bounds of its half-erudition and intellectual awkwardness”. As such a bit of naughty neuance probably is a part of consequences of that world scenario, in which Russia still was staying yet a country “locked to a swift message”; – even we’re not pointing here many a politic and democratic aspects of still imperfect years of that period in the whole global world of the planet, with all its Czechoslovakia’s moods, both sides’ cold war manners or the massively-grown spiritual and intellectual European cosmo-hippyism, in fact, much similar to Shelly’s;  –  to it, we’ve got to know that a sort of loss of “mental swiftness” was but a kind of linguistic stupor for russian language can grow more cosmo-metrically and more cosmo-gnostically freer. But, the other way, as ‘twas already said, undoubtedly it was evaluated by taking a serious natural strength of the spirit of this country. This kind of progress of earthly-motherly-surpassing language we can see in translations newest, as like, for example, in translations of “very russian” Vladimir Mikushevich.[*38] We can recognize (there) how original stanza get(s) filled with the expressions, which seem like as if it would have been enriched with very branchy-elevated thought of a good prose within the well-kept originally-poetic structure, – and you do remember of that process of “prosafication” in the beginning of the “furiotic” 20th-cen, which was pictured in the first half of this, already a huge essay; – now we’re certainly finding a some worth of it, and, for example, in touch to Mikushevich’s Shelly, we might only stay wondering of that how creatively, in fact, a lyrical, Tolstoy’s (level) image within the russian phrase (can) keep its harmoniously-melodic dialogue with the wild children of “a poet-infidelist”[*39]English way fancying. – Oh, yes, if that was like Tolstoy alive ever could have a chance to meet live Shelly, I am pretty sure they definitely would find quite a many things to discuss together. And then they would agree with quite a many things on this Earth too, if, alas, not with the most of those things…                                                                                                           

            …Isn’t the time now for us to put a fatal point in all that ellipsis, what means to be a noble continuation of the story of Percy Shelly’s living plant in Russia of today and tomorrow? – “You mean, still that The First “prometheistic” Act of yours, Your Cleverness Mr Essayist, – that (a) great global, turned or still turning into The Act…? Really?…What is it?” – this might be one of the questions. And so, here for me is to…. Yes, I think, I must to turn my final look now towards the views of all further perspective of Shelly’s ideas and ethos blessing this country. All the big newest changes in the field of the scientistic and human thought are the sincere witnesses of this sort of visioned truth. And ‘tis also like when the macrocosmic privilege of its (Russian) geo-position in the world symbolically can be somehow more accorded to that naturally continental scenario, which is a good part of Shelly’s cosmopolitan, esoteric foresight. – Seems, you’ve been wondering here if “The Act of Asia”[*40] is already started, haven’t you?…When we are just to wait for the devoted Panthea’s[*41] chants will work for us to see a truly loving (and not revoltously, not revangeously turning!) Asia, who should be guided by very feeling of care and gratefulness to that, what is forever still as a Humanly-Prometheistic on the West. – Whether as such a thought can be just an outline of all the rest of coming to be seen (as) the Great Transfiguration’s Act the Next, we can’t ignore to look for to see that absolute light of prognosticated Demogorgonic Peace and Love from even nowdays. Could we ever then be not re-asking ourselves once again of [all] the Immortal? And so, there – immortal feeling, immortal word – Immortal…? – The Mind and the Body of Man in the developing world of 21st-cen are having a very serious test for them both to be taken as “those things are worthy to be regenerated”, and so this theme far is not alien for Russia too. And in this sense, Shelly’s “death’s values and mysteries” still is aught of the best moral futurology, which the sensitive hearts ever could wish to see in service to the “thought knowledgeable” (with all its neo-Aristotel truths, and all its “post” and “trans”), and ‘tis like also when native poetic consciousness of Epoch as ever still working to fulfill its testimonial task: to deal with the bounds of symbols of Man (which way?), to live through damnation of “judmentalistic ethimology”, to survive in the battle with anti-body of Time, of Human Idea and of its anti-character. – In keeping a sufficient look, you can see still a big struggle goes for the Cross and Its religious meaning in today’s circles of russian poetic translatorship. That’s how, for example, a strong opinion voice – a literary critic L.Volodarskaya – is trying to explain so called “subconscious establishment of the Cross” within the unbound Shelly’s images, – what, of cause, can be a some kind of truth said the way (that) nobody will ever ignore the fact of a partly-inherited Anglican protestant paradigm in Shelly’s world, – whether, in hearing as such a critical comment, we also can’t escape to listen to all the Furies’ voices once again,  those: – “Tear the vale!”, those: – “Thou look at the emblem!”… (Oh,) still the people might be too skeptical to the images of a sort of perspective Dali-like[*42], for example, – especially that’s how still in Russia; – but, in the terms of all practical futurology, there can’t be ignored a very principle of a Man’s earthly-conditioned  feeling, which Life Experience more consciously interpret to be rising higher and higher upon “the bones”, upon the physical ills and sorrows, – exactly like it seen in prophetic Shelly, and so: especially in Shelly’s of all be-said “Tomorrow’s Today”: – at the start of the new epoch of Transhumanization. Here are: all the independently developing faculties of the new stately-planned university department of ethics[*43], all the new strengthen projects and movements as like, for example, “Russia 2045”. Man prognostically is expected to be biologically immortalized, in coming future, for him to become unbound from the old fears and shames! Will be his thoughts and his feeling unbound for the accepting a sort of this future? – Can we dare to stay not any longer doubting that all-fatal Jupiter from the Third coming Act, in fact, is not Josef Stalin, and too is not Vladimir Putin, but…somewhat…? – Whether it can be not of one’s life sense,…whether it can be the stage or the process, all it anyway, with its good and bad, stays within the trans-epochal language, and… The first-rated science [*44] on the Earth is still to be of a kind of a measure of it. That earlier be-called “tear-the-vale”, (we’ve spoke of it the way we described historical lingua drama in this country – that, what came to be a “furiotic” ambition to express “the freedom of the tongue ‘gainst the dictature of wordly sameness”), and that now-came be-called “were-the-true-words”[*45], – those both polarities of Shelly’s most global paradigmatic thought for “creating a linguistic humanity” in the future minds; – isn’t it, in fact, a very principle of sacred Unbound, who, as like a healthy spoken Feeling of Life, was only being taught to accept His past harmoniously? And doesn’t it only help to keep a dearly-sensitive peace between the all-Classical and all-Neo-Experimental in Man’s culture the way, when reinterpreted image of survival lose neither aught of its love-sharing manner nor the aught of its free-conditioned intelligibility, which meant to be poetically unbound from many a stereotypical, “too ecclesiastic” limitations?… Oh, majestic “free word craft” of yours, dear Sir Shelly! – all that, what used to be “infidel” early, all that truths, which up to now still play the minds of the different experts…

           …Yes, I could have been going more on drawing here all the wisdom and all the beauty of Shelly’s esthetic heritage for this country of mine, for already a new life epoch in this country. The so actual, so today’s views and themes of ecologizing the Earth; the so sincere and so art-encouraging blessings of a most democratic “heraldization of the human talent” (you do remember his “Witch of Atlas”, and that prophesized neo-temple in there, and that neo-heraldic branch an emblem on its doors[*46], don’t you?). But here, by the end of this essay, when I just find I’ve spent already a whole infinity in staying enchantingly facing a phantasmagorical bloom and a growth of a phenomenal Shelly’s plant on the tree of russian poetic culture – that “omelic”[*47] miracle, the image of which we’ve started this essay with; – methinks, for tonight I better say the last of my words so for another sincere pride/& interest/ keeper of Shelly, who surely will come after me to take this sort of friendly advantage. As Dante once felt towards a dignity shade of true Virgil[*48], so I am about Shelly, and in such a sincere feeling, – and the way also I see how a poetic progressive dream in my country now somehow rising upon the post-Marinetti’s-like vandalistic bounds (of “word poorer”[*49]), – I’d like to say that, in thinking all the objective inevitability of new-establishing fundamental poetic manner and stile in Russia of 21t-cen [*cause amongst the today’s few of a kind of such, yet none is neo-classically fundamental in principle*], I am much glad to dream of a new poetic fortune for the re-inherited Shelly’s influences. There’s my friendliest wish for his poesy could forever escape the oblivion, and so too, in another new sort of translations… No, Shelly is not a “provenance” (I’ve just look at the beginning of my essay now) for those the next estaphetic fire carriers in the wide fields of the Great Poesy in this world, but he is, rather be said, “a sign and a way to provenance”; he is like one of those still rare and still forever valuable “keys to the poetic provenance for the future minds”. And as like a writer Stanislav Lem once did called a genius J.Bosch to be “an artist, who came into his 16th-cen from furtherst future”, but the other way (of comparing) I preferably say that a genius Shelly is one of those few poets, who are wittingly waiting for us already in the times further-approaching. This is my aught of baptistic-like message.                                            

                                            /16.07.2012 – 19.07.2012; Russia /



 1) means, famous French critic Andre Моruis.

2) Marinetti, Italian poet, a first manifestant of futurism, which was happened to be so successfully grown in Russia in the beginning of 20th century.

3) a quick poetic impromptu so suddenly came into my head, so I decided to turn it into some kind of shortly composed poem, and to the first four lines – here’re the few others:

                 “Have you tried not enough, oh, bravest poet?” – sang visioned figure; –                

                  “Don’t you know that the world bifurcated is but a battle with yourself?

                   Let me throw a cone now right into your forehead and tell you:

                   No accident ever can kill the gallantry of feeling eternal*: –

                   No Homer can die, please, believe me, my friend Marinetti;

                   If one’s e’er to share the truth of survival, that’s rather harmonious;

                   No possible e’er is to judge either Dream or the Word but in one way:         

                   Those petals of Life, trampled down**, comes again at the trampler’s Burial.”

                   That’s what heard Marinetti time he’ve been romantically dreaming;

                   Like a stranger Newton he felt, like Miss Alice at Dodo’s appearance***;

                   Still afterwards a good time he was holding that funny cone thing –

                   Still in a hand – time he moved his car t’wards a place of Death-living….

                     _______________________                         _______________________


            *____   In his Manifesto of Futurism (1909/tech.1912), Marinetti’s call was “to rid of Homer”. – And, I’ve wrote an “accident”: we do know that Marinetti has died in a car accident, don’t we?

            **___ “To trample the Voltair’s flowers” was also an idea expressed in the futurism manifests. – I’ve been writing this line, and I saw the images: the flowers, the fires, the “helliadic” sights, the accident. 

            ***___   means, Alice adventurous in the wonderlands, and that author-voicing character there.

            ****___ “Death-living” – I’ve just made it phantasmagoriously up, but…we do guess, that Marinetti addressed his Manifesto to Death, – no? 


4) So much sorry I am that the work and the health didn’t let me to finish this essay yet closer to a date of a Poet’s Birthday, 4th of August.

5) one of those books in the history I still can call as a great “book  of knowledge”.

6) “The freedom is a forced necessity” – a famous phrase in the history of Marxism-Leninism;

7) a noble-revolutionary putch in “Anti-tzaristic December” undoubtedly had a great resonance in all of the spheres of Russian progressive word and a thought for all of the times.

8) means, all the atmosphere in Russian intellectual circles after the Napoleo’s war in Russia in 1812.

9) I think that Shelly’s method of “poetic deduction” touch the both matters of poesy: the ethos of it, and the stile. 

10) Konstantin Balmount – russian poet and Shelly’s translator.

11) that’s a historical fact written in Shateaubriand’s “Post-mortal letters”, who tells there that he was offered by a russian tsar to be a tutor of little Nicolas the First. He writes that the thought of the duty, which was meant to spend the next seven years of life afar from France, was simply unbearable for him, and so he had refused to take as such a favoritable advantage. 

12) I do not mean those very formal opinions, which are superficially witnessing only for Balmount’s superior in translating Shelly.

13) a famous satiric poem of Pushkin, which is filled with fanciest scenes of dealing with bad national, religiously-social character; – the literaturistic legend of 2011 in Russia tells that there’s a newly-found now, an early-printed version of this poem, published under another title. Not sure, if later in time, in the years next, Russian school programs will still keep this poem as a part of russian literature’s studies, and which title under… 

14)  friends, expearenced in English poesy, used to tell him to address his translations not to original Shelly, but to original himself.

15) “…Hardly I can bear the weight of this superincumbent hour”, P.B.Shelly

16) 1903 – a year of Balmount’s publication in Russia. The 3 years of the new century is a very short time for me to say here that was “20th-cen Balmount’s work” (also he’ve been working on this theme far not only one year), and, in this thought, consequently I decided to put here “19th-cen”, simply in idea to avoid some unwanted, subconsciously-provoked images from the next decades of 20th-cen, which otherwise could have been placed in the mind of the reader quite discontextually and unsynchronously.

17) The newest big publication of Balmount’s translation of Shelly’s poems was just a little time ago, in year 2007.     

18) As we all well know, Russian language was totally diselegantised, dismannered, distructured in Soviet Russia. How poor and ugly it has become with all that “revolutionary therapy” – only a small number of western-minded dissidents could ever be witnessing. And those us-known, deep thoughts of them would never argue against the fact of “losing a westernly-built structure of language educated in history to be especially European Russian”. What one ever could say against it, if even the whole linguistic structure of tenses is still suffering the consequence of “a great revolutionary robbery”, when today’s Russian have got not more than just the three tenses: simple past, simple present and simple future – and not those pre-revolutionary six or even nine of such?

19) In this essay I do not speak of “cultural Russia outside Russia”, and I’m focusing my attention on those processes only, which were happening in non-immigrant russian cultural sphere.

20) Not only because of that the great poem of Shelly was named so: “Triumph of Life”, I’ve chose here this sort of expression… 

21) Belinsky – a famous russian literary critic and essayist; Gerzen – a famous russian revolutionary-democratic thinker and polemist. 

22) not only Marinetti used the deadly destructive images like that, but also then russian futurists too, the artists and the poets.

23) Undoubtedly, here I do not mean only “The Death” a short poem of Shelly, but all his very ethos in touching as such a mysterious subject.

24) Lee Hunt, in his critical essay on Shelly’s work, marked especially this stanza from “Ode to a Skylark”: – “…Like a high-born maiden in a palace tower..”. A sense of poetic and human tact of Hunt, so delightful, gave me a particular example of that how one ever could express all the uncomparability of a poetic feeling in atmosphere surrounding, and that’s how my line, a little ironic may be, has appeared in this essay too.

25) the author of this and your sincere friend M.Guebris, for a some strange reason, yet was the first one, who have risked to enlighten as such a theme in one of his russian poems “The heart of Poet”, which was written in 2011.

26) A line from Shelly’s “Queen Mab”.      

27) “The Song about Stormy Petral”, a heroic poem by M.Gorky.

28) no, all these quoted lines are not original Shelly’s; I’ve just spontaneously have been following a sudden rhythm here…

29) An image and, can be said, a personage from “Queen Mab”. 

30) Everybody knows his name on the West, I think.

31)  V.Merkurieva (1876- 1943), translator, russian symbolist; the only book of her – translations of Shelly (publ. 1937).

32) “The department of social struggle against the  unclean power” – that’s how a name of this extremely stalinistic body (a special sector of KGB) can be straightly translated into English. It was really existed, and it was very functionally active, and too ‘twas not less humanly-harmful in the people’s life than the other cruel stalinistic bodies. (I’m not sure, if this name was ever rightly translated in western literature.)

33) from the short dialogue between Panthea and Iona from 1st Act, in time before the good Spirits came.

34) means, all the last scenes from the First Act of “Prometheus Unbound”, and here’s one of a sisters’ expression.

35) A.N. Borodin (1813 – 1865), a poet, first translator of Shelly; 1849 – “Love” by P.B.Shelly, translated by Borodin, was published in Russia.

36) I’ve just risked here to express one of my fancy thought, which is about that how I could imagine a Skylark to be as a part of assembly of all Good Spirits from…the Act First.

37) Gagarin – gagariniad; – that’s how I made this word. 

38)  russian poet, philosopher and thinker; the latest Shelly’s translations of his were published in  1998, edited by russian critic Volodarskaya.

39)  The poesy of P.B.Shelly once was called as “some sort of infidel poesy”, wasn’t it?

40) I don’t know why even I put this note here, when probably everyone is well-erudite in that what the Second Act of Prometheus actually is…

41) mother of Aerope, a sacred origin of Hellenic European Pantheon

42) “Christ” of Salvador Dali to me is almost a perfect reproduction of that vision of Prometheus, who sympathized to Innocent Victim and to his Innocent Feeling moves perspectively the way of surpassement/surpassing.

43) yet by now, the faculty of ethics in MGU is just a part of the study program ruled by Department of Philosophy.  

44) In me-written works, still quite often I keep reminding to my reader that the Poesy is a first science on this Earth

45) I meant a replica from the last scene of Act First, when Prometheus explain to the nymphs a very sense and a very priority of the “words of the heart of life”, – that’s how I call them, those words, which are sincerely staying to be known as “Love”, “Liberty” and s.o.

46) the images from the last stanzas of “Witch of Atlas”

47) omela, omelic – let me be also creative in me-made words…

48) Virgil in Dante’s “Comedy” is a main poetically-guided personage.

49) that’s quite a mega-syncretic thought of mine, but I can say that even the modern minimalists and absurdists in nowdays are trying to open the boundaries of “poorly used word”.


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