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[Trivia]What Does This Poem/Song Mean?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Now, you can cheat and google it but I will warn you that most of the results don't know and most even confuse it to a point where there IS no meaning. So read this poem/song and tell me what it signifies. The more people miss, the more hints I will offer.

    Length of chasm's edge, upon the cliff's brink
    I urge my horses onward, coerce them, whiplash flying.
    Somehow I am short of breath, wind I drink, fog I swallow.
    I'm gripped with mortal unbelief, I am perishing, I am dying!

    Bit slower, my horses, pay no heed the tight lashes.
    The horses that fell to my lot are fastidious.
    I've not lived out my life, I can't finish my verse.
    I'll water my horses,
    I'll sing some more verses -
    Yet a moment I'll stand on the brink

    I'll bend, like piece of cotton on palm, blown away by hurricane
    At a gallop in a sled, through the morning snow
    Be patient, patient, wayward horses, make the journey slowly,
    And delay if but a while before we reach the final shelter.

    Slower, slower, oh my horses, slowly run, slowly run!
    You don't serve the lash or the whip.
    The horses that fell to my lot are unruly ones...
    I've not lived out my life, I can't finish my song.

    I'll water my horses,
    I'll sing some more verses -
    Yet a moment I'll stand on the brink

    It's all over: guests to God cannot delay until the morrow.
    But why then should the angels' voices sound so harsh and hoarse?
    Is it but the harness bell that jangles wildly out of sorrow,
    Or do I harangue the horses to slow down their hectic course?

    Slower, slower, oh my horses, slowly run, slowly run!
    I implore you, don't gallop headlong!
    The horses that fell to my lot are unruly ones...
    I've not lived out my life, yet I'd finish my song.

    I'll water my horses,
    I'll sing some more verses -
    Yet a moment I'll stand on the brink
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    What's the original language?
     
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Since no one has picked up on it, the original is in Russian.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Thanks.

    I didn't Google anything.

    I'll guess that the horses represent "life", the inexorable forces that rush us along, taking us places we sometimes want them to and other times where they want to take us.

    The "song" represents our works, the things we do in lfe, our actions.

    The "brink" is, of course, death.

    The poem is about the inevitability of death, that no matter what we do, no matter how we live our lives, we all share the same fate.
     
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Not bad, Steve, really good.

    One more hint: The song is over 30 years old.
     
  6. Andy

    Andy ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    Living too fast and dying too young. (Like it's author?)
     
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    That's part of it, but not the main theme, Andy. You are picking up one aspect to the song, one that will explain something later.
     
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Not sure if this will help you at all since you don't know Russian. But listen to the tone. Perhaps this will give you world of hints.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    This is one of those times I wish I could read Russian. I'm aware that it's a very expressive and emotional language and that some of that is lost in the translation to English. Language is all. Even when you explain the full meaning, we'll lose some of your intent.....
     
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    You can't emphasise enough of that, Steve. Even when I was attempting to translate to the best of my ability and got some websites that had "official" translation (Russians rated their translation very low) there's just SO much that's lost.

    Still, I am going to try to relay as much as I can of the meaning and one final hint.

    The Horses here, represent something more than a horse during the Soviet Era.
     
  11. Andy

    Andy ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    Well.. I'll admit.. I know who wrote/sung it.. I even know this very song was in a movie I've seen...but as to the exact meaning you are looking for.. I'll be waiting :)
     
  12. ravital

    ravital Banned

    Andy, or Leon,

    After the contest (I'm not playing, so don't worry about me :) ) could either one of you tell me the name of the singer, and is he the author/composer? Just curious.

    Thanks!
     
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  14. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    My guess - no Google. Preparing for WW2 Russian brand of seige/human-wave battle. Horses are troops, a way of expressing them as livestock, but with nobility, purpose and strength. The singer is torn between two issues, facing his own mortality and the mortality of his men, which he regrets.
     
  15. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Wow, interesting angle, but it doesn't have to be that complex. It's actually very basic premise. Think Animal Farm.
     
  16. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Fate.
     
  17. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Luke, I am NOT your father!

    My guess, with no Google and only the hints provided. Communism, or failure of. The horses in the poem represent the working people aka the work horses. The unruly ones that fell are the ones that did not bend to the lash. The brink, it represents the realization that all they worked for lead to nothing. Maybe.
     
  18. drntdrtydg

    drntdrtydg Registered User

    Ethics,
    it's my understanding you immigrated from the Ukraine. If you don't mind my asking, are you Russian, or Ukranian? I've also read Russia and the Ukraine have had some serious conflicts over the years. Do Ukranians in general have an animosity to Russia per se? In the US one can still find animosity between the south and the north at times, minimal and subtle, but there. Conflict isn't easily washed away. I'm rather untrigued by the whole Russian culture....and never read much up on it's issue with the Ukraine.
    Recently however, I've been reading "The politically incorrect guide to American history and there is a chapter in there about US Soviet relation in the early part of the 20th century. The book says Stalin was brutal to the Ukranians. Pardon my lack of scholarship on the region, but I was always under the wrong impression the two countries were somewhat of similar background and outlook. Aren't they both Slavic?

    This is very Romantic
     
  19. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Holy shit! The Hobbit nails it!

    The song is cryptic enough to have passed initial Soviet filters, until they realized what Visotsky meant and then quickly banned it... That just flared it's popularity in the underground.
     
  20. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Yah but there's a lot of mean history. Western Ukraine was part of Poland. Stalin, after annexing Lviv and other major cities, attempted force Russification of Ukraine.
     

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