Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027144, Thu, 11 Aug 2016 16:18:43 +0000

RES: [NABOKV-L] Racemosa: fluffy flowers of the cheryomuha
On March 05, 2009 Victor Fet sent a translation of a poem by V. Nabokov ["...This refers also to the famous VN's image of a ravine where Communists shot people, a ravine overgrown with racemosa that survived through Communist regime: Rossiya, zvezdy, noch' rasstrela/ i ves' v cheremuhe ovrag. 'Some nights, as soon as I'm asleep,/To Russian shores my bed would run;/And now - to the ravine's rip -/Be executed with a gun. .........But you, my heart, would go further.../This you with passion would assume:/Still Russia, stars, the night of murder,/The ravine - the bird-cherry bloom.(Transl. by Boris Leivi) at http://spintongues.msk.ru/nabokov2.html ]

I have no access to the original in Russian (even if I did I wouldn't be able to understand it). The URL leading to Boris Leivi's translation was not found.
There's on word in English that intrigued me ( "to the ravine's rip") because at first I associated it to the tearing noise of machine guns. Later I noticed that the letters also suggest "r.i.p." (requiescat in pace: rest in peace) producing what, to me, is a very powerful condensation (ravine,violent death, peace).
I wonder if this employ of "rip" in English is to be found in V. Nabokov's poem "Rasstrel" or if its secondary meaning is accidental.

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