In Russian, Fialta rhymes with Malta (and not with Yalta, as some may think). In her poem Ne lavrom, a tyornom… (“Not with laurel, but with thorns…”) from the cycle Georgiy (“George,” 1921) Marina Tsvetaev calls St. George Mal’tiyskogo Ordena Rytsar’ (a Knight of the Order of Malta):

 

, ԣ
,
!

 


ޣ
.

 



.

 


,
.

 


— ,
— .

 


— ,
֣ …

 

In the cycle’s last poem Marina Tsvetaev speaks of the Crimea and mentions the dryness of Orpheus’ arrogant land:

 

,
…………………………………………

.

 

! —
,

 

!
…………………..
, ,
!

 

At the risk of being “repeaty,” like a reptile, here is again my “fianagram” with Malta, mountain and Nabokov:


+ + + + = + + + + +

 

- Woe from Wit (a play in verse by Giboedov in which Sophia calls Chatski “a snake;” the name of Griboedov’s young wife was Nina)

- end

- Tambov (a city in Central Russia, the setting of Lermontov’s poem “The Tambov Treasurer’s Wife,” 1838; in Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, Five: XXVII: 2-3, Monsieur Triquet is a wit, late from Tambov)

- field

- Fiume (Italian name of Rijeka, a seaport in W Croatia on the Adriatic)

- Malta

- mountain (cf. Mount St. George near Fialta)

- father

- Nabokov

– warmth

 

Valenok (“arctic”) is a felt boot.

 

Alexey Sklyarenko

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