Monday, December 09, 2019

Virtual Advent Tour 2019: Winter Evenings

Virtual Advent Tour is hosted by Sprite at Sprite Writes.

A picture of 4 wooden statues of two adults and two children on a glade by the river dancing while holding hands

There is something magical about winter evenings when you are warm and comfy while it is freezing and windy outside. With the fire going and a hot beverage, it is nice to just be in comfortable silence and perhaps enjoy a good piece of poetry.

One such piece is a poem that hit me straight in the heart when I first heard it many years ago, a romantically melancholic, just like a Slavic soul likes best, and I had that instant 'a-ha' feeling of relating to it, for back then I did literally live in an old house in the middle of the marshes and cold, wild wind knocking on our shabby windows was a familiar visitor during many a winter evening while sitting by the wood stove with my grandmother.

I know it by heart in Slovene translation and it takes me straight back to my childhood whenever I remember it. Incidentally, its title is Winter Evening and it remains one of my favourite pieces of poetry. I am pasting it below with some imagery that reminds me of the 'olden' days. ;)

Winter Evening
by A. S. Pushkin


A brightly burning fire in a fireplaceO'er the earth a storm is prowling, Bringing whirling, blinding snow.
Like a beast I hear it howling,
Like an infant wailing low.
Now the thatch it rustles, playing
On our roof; now at our pane
Raps like someone homeward straying
And behighted in the plain.


Old our hut is, dark and dreary,

By a candle dimly lit...
Why so sad, my dear, and weary
At the window do you sit?
Is't because the storm is moaning
That so very still you keep?
Does your spindle's mournful droning
Put you quietly to sleep?

An isolated cottage in a snowy landscape at night with full moon shining
Come, O comrade solitery
Of this cheerless youth of mine,
Take a cup, and let us bury
All our many woes in wine!
Of a maid out by a river
Sing a little song to me
Or a tomtit, one that never
Leaves its home beyond the sea.


O'er the earth a storm is prowling,

Bringing whirling, blinding snow.
Like a beast I hear it howling,
Like an infant wailing low.
Come, O comrade solitery
Of this cheerless youth of mine,
Take a cup, and let us bury
All our many woes in wine!

(Translated by I. Zheleznova.)

Do you have a favourite piece of poetry that reminds you of winter and/or childhood? 

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