Russian Language Blog

Russian Poetry: Летний сад, Part 1 Posted by on Jan 31, 2011 in Culture


We are taking a break from posts about «история Киева» [the history of Kiev] to do something a bit more literary today. In my Russian class, we have been working on a poem for the past two weeks. It’s called «Летний сад» [Summer Garden], written by the wonderful «Анна Ахматова» [Anna Akhmatova]. «Когда я была в Питере, Летний сад был закрыт» [When I was in Piter (St. Petersburg), the Summer Garden was closed]. 

Oh, as an important side note: it’s been a week today since the «теракт» [terrorist attack] in «Домодедово» [Domodedovo]. Our very own Yelena wrote a moving post last week. Perhaps, after you read this, you could observe a moment of silence to remember the victims and their families.

Here is the poem:

Я к розам хочу, в тот единственный сад,
Где лучшая в мире стоит из оград,

Где статуи помнят меня молодой,
А я их под невскою помню водой.


I want to be with the roses, in the one and only garden,
Where the best fence in the world is,

Where the statues remember me when I was young,
And I remember them under the waters of the Neva.

One thing that struck me we read the poem «вслух» [out loud] was how much prepositions blend with the words after them: «к розам» really sounds like «крозам», as if it were one word.

Here are the next four lines of the poem. I absolutely love the imagery.

В душистой тиши между царственных лип
Мне мачт корабельных мерещится скрип.

И лебедь, как прежде, плывёт сквозь века,
Любуясь красой своего двойника.


In the fragrant quiet between regal lime trees
The creak of the ship’s masts is haunting me.

And the swan, as before, sails through the ages,
Admiring the beauty of its double.

«Как вы думаете о стихотворение?» [What do you think of the poem?]

I confess I have tricked you a bit, «дорогие читатели» [dear readers]. That’s only half the poem. You’ll have to wait to Wednesday «часть вторая» [part two] of this post…

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About the Author: Natalie

I'm Natalie and I love the Russian language and sharing my knowledge with others. I graduated from university with a dual degree in Russian language & literature and history.


  1. Fizmat:

    Sorry Natalie, but “Как вы думаете о стихотворение?” is wrong. “Что вы думаете об этом стихотворении?” is what I’d say.

    Notice that sometimes not only “this” but “the” translates to “этот”, because Russian doesn’t have articles.

  2. abigail david:

    A moment of silence is certainly a respectful act for the one observing it in honor/memory of those involved in a tragedy (or in this case – a horrendous attack) but it doesn’t really help the victims. On the other hand…a prayer to the Creator God has the power to heal the wounded, comfort those who lost loved-ones and even bring to justice the ones behind such evil. Praying for all those effected by this terrorist act.