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Book chapter

Стихотворение М. Цветаевой «Чтобы помнил не часочек, не годок» в переводе Кристофера Уайта

С. 175-185.

The article is devoted to the matters of poetry translation and gives a contrastive analysis of
Marina Tsvetaeva’s poem “So that you remember me not an hour or a year” and its English
version suggested by Christopher Whyte. The article is focused on the transformations
(voluntary – conscious as well as subconscious; and involuntary – caused by the difference
of the language material, e.g. diminutives, impersonal constructions characteristic of the
Russian language which lack in the English language etc.) made by Whyte when translating
the original text. The comparative analysis showed that in the translation the following
sense generating elements of the original were lost: the form of folk spell in which the
original is written; the song form of the poem, which refers the reader to a Russian folk song
genre “chastushka; folk vocabulary; the image of a seven string guitar; the magic halo оf a
magician around the figure of the speaker of the poem and the “Spanish colour”. As the result
of this is, in the English version the tension between stylistically low – folk and high –
romantic characteristic of the original disappears. The translation, like the original, has
qualities of a song but it gives a sensation of a romantic song, exclusively. The translator
“modernizers” Tsvetaeva’s poem: he leaves capitals in the beginning of the lines only when
it is allowed by the punctuation, and converts rhymed syllabo-tonic verse into unrhymed free
verse.