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Ранним утром

November 6, 2010
Отворить окно: уж солнце всходит,
И, бледнея, кроется луна,
И шумящий пароход отходит,
И сверкает быстрая волна….
Волга так раскинулась широко,
И такой кругом могучий жизни хор,
Силу русскую так чувствуешь глубоко,
В безграничности теряется мой взор.
Сердце что-то радостное слышит,
Чудным светом я озарена….
Оттого перо лениво пишет,

Оттого, что так душа полна….

I came across this poem browsing in Москвитянин (links to which are now on the journals page) and guessed it would be nowhere on the internet except in the scanned copy of the December 1854 issue. But I was pleasantly surprised, not for the first time, by Maksim Moshkov’s library, which has a whole page for Iuliia Valerianovna Zhadovskaia (1824-1883). That page mostly reprints a section on Zhadovskaia from a collection called Русские поэтессы XIX века (Moscow, 1979), compiled by N. V. Bannikov.

Iu. V. Zhadovskaia

The poem itself divides into groups of 8+4 lines, or 4+4+4, or 4+4+2+2. We may have 8 of the view from a particular window, and 4 of its effect on the poet; or 4 of the physical view joined by a transitional 4, where the images become abstract and the national theme (Волга, сила русская) is introduced, to the final, introspective 4; or these last 4 may be 2 on the poet’s subjective mood and 2 of metapoetic commentary on the full poem.

How do we read лениво in the metapoetic section? Does it point to a feature of the poem we are expected to see (the poem is so short, or its images are so general, because the fullness of my soul made it difficult to write), or does it admit something we wouldn’t know without being told (the poem may look polished now, but it took a long time and much work to finish)?

Also, what is the syntax of lines 5-8? It reads smoothly, but after looking at it several times, I’m not sure if the так… такой… так… structure is ever resolved. In other words, is the sense of the passage that “all around life’s choir is so powerful” that “my gaze is lost in the unbounded,” or does “my gaze is lost in the unbounded” interrupt the thought, so that we never find out the answer: “you feel the Russian strength so deeply” that what?

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