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

The Structure of the Song “A Ballad of Love”.

A.
B.
A.
B.
A.
B.

10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.

2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.

(*) (*) When waters of the Great Flood reacquired (*) (*) (*) (*)
Their calm outside the limits of the land, (*) (*) (*) (*)
Out of the foaming trace, unseen and quiet, (*) (*) (*) (*)
Came Love and made her way upon the sand— (*) (*) (*) (*)
To vanish in the air she was required— (*) (*) (*) (*)
Until the day she’d be in great demand... (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
A.
b.
C.
C.
b.

12*+4.
10+4.
13*+3.
10+4.
10+4.
13*+8.

2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20.

Even presently, (*) (*) such oddballs still appear, (*) (*) (*) (*)
Who breathe in this rich mixture with no fear, (*) (*) (*) (*)
Awaiting neither prize (*) (*) nor castigation, (*) (*) (*)
And thinking not for anything sublime, (*) (*) (*) (*)
But suddenly they begin to breathe in time (*) (*) (*) (*)
With just the same (*) (*) uneven respiration. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
B.
A.
B.

13*+5.
11*+5.
11*+5.
11*+8.

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.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15-17-19.

Verdant meadows, (*) (*) (*) (*) boundless skies above— (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Such a gift (*) (*) to lovers would I give!.. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
If I breathe, (*) (*) this fact means that I love! (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
If I love, (*) (*) this fact means that I live! (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
B.
A.
B.
A.
B.

10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.

2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.

And there’ll be lots of travels, barriers, stops— (*) (*) (*) (*)
Love is the greatest land ’mongst all the lands. (*) (*) (*) (*)
Her knights will undergo severe probes, (*) (*) (*) (*)
And some of them will make their final stands, (*) (*) (*) (*)
Or stick in swamps of errors and vain hopes, (*) (*) (*) (*)
While each one neither rest nor sleep demands... (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
A.
b.
C.
C.
b.

12*+4.
10+4.
13*+3.
10+4.
10+4.
13*+8.

2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20.

These knights of Love (*) (*) cannot be turned around, (*) (*) (*) (*)
To pay high charges they’re already bound, (*) (*) (*) (*)
And any cost, (*) (*) even life, will be accepted— (*) (*) (*)
Just to preserve, just not to let untie (*) (*) (*) (*)
The magic thread invisible to eye, (*) (*) (*) (*)
With which (*) (*) they’re so fatefully connected. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
B.
A.
B.

13*+5.
11*+5.
11*+5.
11*+8.

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.
1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15-17-19.

Verdant meadows, (*) (*) (*) (*) boundless skies above— (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Such a gift (*) (*) to lovers would I give!.. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
If I breathe, (*) (*) this fact means that I love! (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
If I love, (*) (*) this fact means that I live! (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
B.
A.
B.
A.
B.

10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.
10+4.

2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.

How many of the knights of Love have choked (*) (*) (*) (*)
On love, and don’t hear calls, even very loud! (*) (*) (*) (*)
They figure in malicious idle talk, (*) (*) (*) (*)
While what they did is written down with blood, (*) (*) (*) (*)
And we’ll light candles for the hearts that broke, (*) (*) (*) (*)
That loved not wisely, and were too well loved... (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
A.
b.
C.
C.
b.

12*+4.
10+4.
13*+3.
10+4.
10+4.
13*+8.

2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14.
2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20.

Their souls wander (*) (*) ’midst fine flowers, their song (*) (*) (*) (*)
Fly up to Heaven in heavenly unison, (*) (*) (*) (*)
They breathe eternity (*) (*) in every inhalation, (*) (*) (*)
And with a sigh for bygone golden dreams, (*) (*) (*) (*)
They meet on bridges over timeless streams, (*) (*) (*) (*)
On narrow crossroads (*) (*) of the Lord’s creation. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

A.
B.
A.
B.

13*+5.
11*+5.
11*+5.
11*.

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

The fresh wind (*) (*) (*) (*) cheered them like heady mead, (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Knocked them down, (*) (*) and raised from the deceased. (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
None but Love (*) (*) can make existence complete, (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
He, who’s never loved, (*) (*) hasn’t lived and breathed! (*) (*)

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