Russian-English Translation of Alexander Pushkin's Poem | ArtSocket Gallery Magazine

Pushkin Tale of Medvediha

By Header image credit: Olga Tcherbadji

Perhaps the first and only English translation of Alexander Pushkin's unfinished poem. Just like travel, dipping the toes into international art is enlightening. Being a Russian-born who still remembers how to read and write I thought I'd give this beautiful poem a try. Be warned: a lot of the grammar rules have been subverted to preserve the flow of the original piece. I have never done this before so do let me know if there is something that needs fixing.

А.С. Пушкин. Сказка о медведихе. Перевод на английский.

TALE OF MEDVEDIHA by Alexander Pushkin

How the autumn’s a warm time being
From the morning’s white sunrise.
What from the dark, dark scary forest?
Came out brown Medvediha
With her little bear-cubs
For a strut, for a look, and to show herself.
She, Medvediha sat under white birch
And her kids started playing then,
Roll in a grass,
Wrestle, jump around they did.
Unexpectedly, a man walks towards them
He is carrying a wooden pitchfork
And a knife under the belt
And he’s got a bag over shoulder of his.
As Medvediha saw him,
The man with the pitchfork,
She then yelled in her bear voice
And she called her little kids
Oh her silly cubs,
“Oh you children, cubs of mine,
You must stop your games and the joyful fun,
Wrestling and jumping of yours
It is so that the man is coming now
Stand and hide behind me, you.
I will not give you away.
I will fight him for all of you.”

And the cubs got frightened.
They rushed to hide behind Medvediha,
And Medvediha prepared for the fight.
She got on her hind legs
But the man was cunning man.
He advanced onto Medvediha.
He stuck his pitchfork in her suddenly
Over belly, under liver, he did.
So Medvediha fell on the damp ground
And the man then gutted her.
Gutted her and he skinned her
And the little cubs in the bag he put
And when done he went back to home.

“Here you go wife, got a present for you:
Bear coat, valued fifty Rubbles
And another gift I haveth for you, dear of mine.
Three bear cubs, five Rubbles each of value”

And the news spread over the city wall
And beyond, into the forest too,
And they reached the brown bear, they did.
That the man killed his wife, dear
That the man he gutted her
That he gutted her and he skinned her
And that he bagged the cubs.
And the bear got saddened
Lowered his head and then cried, he did.
Cried over his dear wife,
Dear brown Medvediha.
“Oh you shining light of mine, Medvediha.
Why oh why did you leave me,
Saddened widower,
Crying widower?
How can the dear of mine?
Played games, we did.
Nursed our cubs, we did.
Rock them gently we did.
Sang them lullabies.”
And so animals got together they
Went to big brown bear’s home.
Came the big ones they.
Came the small ones they.
Came the noble wolf,
With the chopping teeth,
With the jealous eyes.
Came the beaver–tradesman,
With a big fat tail.
Came the noble swallow.
Came the princes squirrel.
Came the clever fox,
Clever fox from the government.
Came the ermine comedian.
Came the gopher hegumen,
He who lives behind monastery.
Came the peasant rabbit,
Rabbit white with grey spots, he is.
Came the tax collegtor hedgehog,
And he’s being like hedgehog
Shivering his needles, he.