The Rhythmic Structure of Vladimir Vysotsky’s Poems and Songs.

The Structure of Vladimir Vysotsky’s “A SONG OF ROSSIA”.

I. The Structure of “A Song of Rossia”.

A*.
B.
A*.
B.

 

15*+3.
11+5.
15*+3.
11+5.

1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15-17.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15-17.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.

(*) (*) What’ll my breathing, (*) (*) what’ll my looking bring to me today? (*) (*) (*)
Dense and viscous is the air before storm rains. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
What’ll I hear, (*) (*) what’ll be revealed to me to sing, to say? (*) (*) (*)
Here sing birds from fairy tales, foretelling changes. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

a*.
B.
a*.
B.

 

13+3.
11+5.
13+3.
11+5.

1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.

From the left the gladsome Sirin joyfully smiles at me— (*) (*) (*)
Tries to trap a living soul in her host, (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
While another fairy bird is quite in front of me— (*) (*) (*)
It’s the dismal, strange, uncanny Alkonost. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
B.
A.
B.

 

7+3.
7+3.
7+3.
7+3.

1-3-5-7-9.
1-3-5-7-9.
1-3-5-7-9.
1-3-5-7-9.

Suddenly came to heart a tune (*) (*) (*)
Of the seven sacred strings— (*) (*) (*)
It’s the wise bird Gamayun (*) (*) (*)
Puts her confidence in me! (*) (*) (*)

a.
B.
a.
B.

 
 
1+

12+2.
11+4.
12+2.
11+5.

1-3-5-7-9-11-13.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.

In the blue sky, pierced by countless bell-towers, (*) (*)
Sound copper bells, declaring bliss or hell. (*) (*) (*) (*)
(In) Rossia cupolas are with pure gold covered, (*) (*)
With the hope that in God’s Eyes they’ll look well. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

A*.
B.
A*.
B.

 

15*+3.
9+5.
15*+3.
9+5.

1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15-17.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15-17.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13.

Here I’m standing, (*) (*) having faced an everlasting riddle, (*) (*) (*)
Looking o’er the great and mythic clime, (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
All admiring (*) (*) of this salty-bitter-sour-sweet (*) (*) (*)
Azure land of pure wellsprings and rye. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

a*.
B.
a*.
B.

 

13+3.
11+5.
13+3.
11+5.

1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.

My true steed (*) through the thick mud (*) is lumbering, (*) (*) (*)
He just sinks (*) in that mud (*) stirrup-deep, (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
But bears me (*) through the great (*) power slumbering, (*) (*) (*)
Which is going (*) to rise (*) from her sleep. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
B.
A.
B.

 

7+3.
7+3.
7+3.
7+3.

1-3-5-7-9.
1-3-5-7-9.
1-3-5-7-9.
1-3-5-7-9.

As if seven wealthy moons (*) (*) (*)
Came to high, and far I see— (*) (*) (*)
It’s the wise bird Gamayun (*) (*) (*)
Puts her confidence in me! (*) (*) (*)

a.
B.
a.
B.
B.

 

12+2.
11+5.
12+2.
11+2.
11.

1-3-5-7-9-11-13.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13.
1-3-5-7-9-11.

And my battered, scorned, abused, bruised, weary soul— (*) (*)
Where her flesh appears through her threadbare fell— (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Will be pieced by me with patches of pure gold, (*) (*)
With the hope that in God’s Eyes she’ll look well, (*) (*)
With the hope that in God’s Eyes she’ll look well. (*) (*)

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