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Robert Burns and Mikhail Lermontov – two dazzling flashes in the sky of Scotland and Russia
giving an insight of the main subject Robert Burns and Mikhail Lermontov's lyrics; - studying of sources of poets’ works and their indissoluble connection with national traditions and folklore; - estimation and comparison of the role and place of poets in life of the state; The research work is devoted to:
- extension of knowledge of their creativity; - comparison of subjects and motives of lyrics of two poets; - comparison and estimation of significance of their works for the present generation.
Mikhail Lermontov Robert Burns 200 years since the birth of Mikhail Lermontov were celebrated this year. Tragic but very short destiny of this poet was bright. His short life was similar to a dazzling flash of a lightning in the poetic sky of Russia. In the world literature the name of Lermontov is often connected with the name of Byron, but not Burns. Reading about Lermontov’s life I remembered his Scottish roots. Not without reason he translated a quatrain of the famous Scottish poet R. Burns into Russian when he was a child.
"Had We Never Loved So Kindly". Had we never lov'd sae kindly, Had we never lov'd sae blindly, Never met-or never parted, We had never been broken-hearted. Lermontov's translation: Если б мы не дети были, Если б слепо не любили, Мы с страданьем бы не знались. Не встречались, не прощались. Lermontov is considered to be the first translator of Burns into Russian. This fact caused me to begin my research work. I became interested in destiny and works of two great poets and patriots of the homeland so different in a social origin, but deeply esteemed thanks to the talent and creativity, love to people and significance of their works for my contemporaries. I`d like to begin my report with the analysis of life and creative work of Robert Burns and Mikhail Lermontov.
His education was limited with the lessons of his father who could read, write and count. A rich inner world of the poet, his magnificent skill –were acquired in continuous and persistent self-education. The poetic talent of Burns appeared early. Burns achieved fame during lifetime at once after the issue of his first collection. The poems were written mainly in the Scottish dialect; however popularity didn't bring the poet any material welfare: all his life he lived in poverty and died in poverty. You can find Burns's small volume in any Scottish house; the day of his birth - a national holiday of Scotland. Life and works of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns are inseparable from country work and life. He never left the work of a grain-grower. Robert Burns - the national poet; he wrote for the people, told them the truth about modern reality, glorified their moral qualities ,called to fight for freedom and happiness.
Verses of the poet were based on folklore genres of a national song, a ballad and a legend. In a laconic and simple form the poet gave big feelings and deep thoughts. The soul, the dignity of the toiler, his dream of free and happy life were expressed in his poetry. Burns’s characters - simple people :a plowman, a smith, a coal miner ,a shepherd ,a soldier. His hero is kind and brave. He treated his beloved gently and goes to the battle for freedom bravely.
Mikhail Lermontov All the life Lermontov felt lonely, and this feeling he carried through all his life and creativity. M. Lermontov served in the tsar army and was killed at the duel at the age of twenty-six in Piatigorsk. Among Burns and Lermontov’s works we can find autobiographical verses, lyrical verses, poems about friendship and love to their native land. In contrast to Robert Burns Mikhail Lermontov was born in a rich, notable family, got a good education. The tragic element of his destiny is that he lost his mother early, was separated from the father and was brought up by his grandmother.
Autobiographic verses Robin There was a lad was born in Kyle, But whatn'a day, o' whatn'a style I doot it's hardly worth the while Tae be sae nice wi' Robin For Robin was a rovin' boy, A rantin' rovin' rantin' rovin', Robin was a rovin' boy, A rantin' rovin' Robin. Oor Monarch's hindmost year but ane, Was five and twenty days begun' 'Twas then a blast o' Januar' win' Blew hansel in on Robin. The gossip keekit in his loof, Quo' she,"Wha' lives shall see the proof, This waly boy will be nae coof; I think we'll ca' him Robin". He'll hae misfortunes great and sma' But aye a heart abune them a' He'll be a credit tae us a'; We'll a' be prood o' Robin. by Robert Burns. In the verses the Scottish poet Burns often tells about himself, his work on the land. He is proud of his country origin, labour life of the plowman and poet.
My Father Was A Farmer My father was a farmer upon the Carrick border, And carefully he bred me in decency and order, He bade me act a manly part, though I had ne'er a farthing, For without an honest manly heart, no man was worth regarding… by Robert Burns Vital burdens - invariable companions of the peasant`s life - tempered the character of the poet and made him hardy and independent. Work doesn't rescue him from need and cares, but Robert doesn't fall into depression and melancholy. Autobiographical verses of Burns are very optimistic.
And Lermontov remembers the childhood and his mother in the work "Кавказ" Хотя я судьбой на заре моих дней, О южные горы, отторгнут от вас, Чтоб вечно их помнить, там надо быть раз: Как сладкую песню отчизны моей, Люблю я Кавказ. В младенческих летах я мать потерял. Но мнилось, что в розовый вечера час Та степь повторяла мне памятный глас. За это люблю я вершины тех скал, Люблю я Кавказ. Я счастлив был с вами, ущелия гор; Пять лет пронеслось: все тоскую по вас. Там видел я пару божественных глаз; И сердце лепечет, воспомня тот взор: Люблю я Кавказ!…
The poet writes about terrible destiny of his father : Ужасная судьба отца и сына Жить розно и в разлуке умереть… Comparing biographic lines in lyrics of these two poets, it is possible to make a conclusion that in contrast to Lermontov the theme of grief in Burns's poetry are overcome with joy of life.
Lyrical verses I think that lyrical verses of R. Burns are notable for cheerfulness, glorification of love, happiness. At the same time love lyrics of Burns are simple, pure and musical. A fine example of it is the poem. A Red, Red Rose My love is like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June : My love is like the melody That’s sweetly played in tune. As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in love am I : And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry. Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi’ the sun : And I will love thee still, my dear, While the sands o’ life shall run. And fare thee weel, my only love, And fare thee weel a while ! And I will come again, my love, Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.
Душа моя должна прожить в земной неволе Не долго. Может быть я не увижу боле Твой взор, твой милый взор, столь нежный для других,… Love in Lermontov's works has got a tragic imprint because of the only, true one-way love to the friend of youth – Varenka Lopukhina. He is sad about the lost happiness: Love brings not joy, but grief and suffering to Lermontov. Reading these lines, we see a different state of the soul and a different attitude towards love feeling of two poets`.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ? We take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll takе a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne. And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp ! and surely I’ll be mine ! And we’ll takе a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne… Auld Lang Syne Robert glorifies faithful friendship which helps people to live a big and a difficult life. The well-known poem “Whether to Forget Old Love”, which is known better as the New Year’s anthem, became the world famous anthem to friendship.
In my opinion Lermontov valued friendship too. For example, in the poem "Спеша на север из далека" he is concerned how he, the exile, will be met by friends at the homeland: Что, если я со дня изгнанья Совсем на родине забыт! Найду ль там прежние объятья? Старинный встречу ли привет? Узнают ли друзья и братья Страдальца, после многих лет?... Remembering his friend Odoevsky, he writes: …В нем тихий пламень чувства не угас: Он сохранил и блеск лазурных глаз, И звонкий детский смех, и речь живую, И веру гордую в людей и жизнь иную. Having read these lines, I understood that both Burns and Lermontov appreciated and believed in friendship sincerely.
Theme of nature WEE, modest crimson-tippèd flow’r, Thou’s met me in an evil hour; For I maun crush amang the stoure Thy slender stem: To spare thee now is past my pow’r, Thou bonie gem. Alas! it’s no thy neibor sweet, The bonie lark, companion meet, Bending thee ’mang the dewy weet, Wi’ spreckl’d breast! When upward-springing, blythe, to greet The purpling east. Cauld blew the bitter-biting north Upon thy early, humble birth; Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth Amid the storm, Scarce rear’d above the parent-earth Thy tender form… Closely connected with the nature owing to living conditions and his profession, Scottish poet used to understand subtle shades of its state, watch and analyze them. In the verses this observation became beautiful poetic generalization and did thoughts of the poet brighter and deeper. In the poem "To a mountain daisy which I trampled down the plow" the image of a flower becomes a symbol of human life:
На севере диком стоит одиноко На голой вершине сосна, И дремлет качаясь, и снегом сыпучим Одета, как ризой, она. И снится ей всё, что в пустыне далёкой В том крае, где солнца восход, Одна и грустна на утёсе горючем Прекрасная пальма растёт. Михаил Лермонтов На севере диком стоит одиноко Lermontov as well as Burns reflects the feelings and experiences about nature in his lyrics, but motives of loneliness prevail over all others
Выхожу один я на дорогу; Сквозь туман кремнистый путь блестит. Ночь тиха. Пустыня внемлет Богу, И звезда с звездою говорит. В небесах торжественно и чудно! Спит земля в сиянье голубом... Что же мне так больно и так трудно? Жду ль чего? Жалею ли о чём? … by M.Lermontov
Люблю отчизну я… Ее степей холодное молчанье, Ее лесов безбрежных колыханье, Разливы рек ее, подобные морям;… by M.Lermontov The theme of nature and homeland are inseparably connected in Lermontov’s poetry. He admires spaciousness and beauty of the homeland:
Civil lyrics The example of civil lyrics is the ballad - a pearl of the world poetry "John Barley Grain". Realizing and dividing hard life of the people, Burns trusts in their moral forces. There was three kings into the east, Three kings both great and high, And they hae sworn a solemn oath John Barleycorn should die. They took a plough and plough’d him down, Put clods upon his head, And they hae sworn a solemn oath John Barleycorn was dead…
The hot feeling of love and patriotism to native Scotland fills the poem " My Heart is in the Highland ": Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth; Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love…
On the day of Pushkin’s death Lermontov declared himself as the citizen and the patriot for the first time. He threw to the secular society the words: "Свободы, гения и славы палачи".
Anger and pain sound in the poem "Прощай, не мытая Россия": Прощай, не мытая Россия Страна рабов, страна господ.
Люблю дымок спаленной жнивы, В степи ночующий обоз И на холме средь желтой нивы Чету белеющих берез. С отрадой, многим незнакомой, Я вижу полное гумно, Избу, покрытую соломой, С резными ставнями окно; И в праздник, вечером росистым, Смотреть до полночи готов На пляску с топаньем и свистом Под говор пьяных мужичков. In the poem "Родина" Lermontov expressed his feeling of love to the country and Russian people: Люблю тебя, но странною любовью… Проселочным путем люблю скакать в телеге И, взором медленным пронзая ночи тень, Встречать по сторонам, вздыхая о ночлеге, Дрожащие огни печальных деревень
Robert Burns and Mikhail Lermontov were born and lived during different eras, but in my opinion they, as true artists, were citizens of their Motherland.
CONCLUSION At the beginning of my work it seemed to me that Mikhail Lermontov and Robert Burns were very different and it was impossible to compare them. I considered Burns to be clearer, and Lermontov to be deeper thinking. In the world literature the name of Lermontov is often connected with the name of Byron, not Burns. But during my research work my opinion changed, and I found a common meeting ground in the works of these two great poets. It gave me a chance to compare their works and come to the conclusion that the subject of the verses of both poets is actual nowadays because thoughts, feelings, ideas which excited them and their generation, affect minds and hearts of our contemporaries. It is a civic stand, patriotism, friendship, love to the world around and love as a high feeling. Many poems of these poets are so lyrical and melodious that they are set to music by composers of different countries and sound not only at the stage but also at the cinema. Robert Burns and Mikhail Lermontov are talented and great poets, two dazzling flashes in the poetical sky of Scotland and Russia, remaining the sons of their time and people, belong already not only to one nation, but also all mankind.
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