Bridging the Gap Between Old(er) and Young(er)

Pushkin’s Prozerpina

In Lit Pit on May 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm

prozerpina persephone pushkin hades youth age gap relationship marriage(Translated from the Russian — A. S. Pushkin, 1947)


The waves of the Phlegethon splash,
The vaults of Tartarus tremble,
Pale Pluto’s horses
Quickly to the nymphs of Pelion
Rush from hellish Hades.

Down the desolate creek
Persephone close on their heels,
Cold and jealous,
Flows along a single path.

‘Fore the goddess his knee
Timidly a youth does bend.
And betrayal flatters goddesses:
The mortal is pleasing to Persephone.

Hell’s proud empress
Gazing, calls the youth to her,
Embraces him — and the chariot
Back to Hades carries them:
Rushing, clothed in cloud;
They see eternal meadows
Elysium and languid Lethe
The slumbering banks.

There’s immortality, there’s oblivion
There is comfort without end.
Persephone in lulled euphoria
Without mantle, without crown
Submits to his wishes,
Betrays for his kisses
Intimate adornments,
In voluptuous bliss drowns
Keeps still and soulfully weeps …

But love’s hours run out;
The waves of the Phlegethon splash,
The vaults of Tartarus tremble:
Pale Pluto’s horses
Rush to sweep him back.
And Demeter’s daughter departs
And the lucky man behind her
Leads him out from Elysium
Along a secret path;
And the lucky man unfastens
With a careful hand
The door, from which flies out
A vision, an illusory swarm.



In Music, TV and Film on April 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm

You read right. This is my final post in what may be a long while. After some rumination, I decided to keep this blog up for ‘posterity’ and in case anyone finds it interesting or wishes to pick up where I left off with work of their own. I may be accepting guest posts in lieu of mine; we’ll see about the response. Enjoyed the ride. Ready for bigbadbetter things.

A parting gift from moi, May D.: a digital collage d’Edith Piaf et Theo Sarapo–la vie boheme, la vie douloureuse, la vie enfin en rose.

edith piaf theo sarapo marriage age gap love owym older woman younger man

click me * T'es beau, tu sais ... T'es beau partout.

Image credit: May D.

Under the spreading cherry tree

In Music on April 4, 2012 at 8:00 am

cherry tree age gap relationshipToday I’m doing two things I haven’t done before: writing about music, and translating a song–and it’s all about an age gap marriage.

I trace part of my ancestry back to the Ukraine, land of wheat and vyshyvankas, and some years ago I came across a gem of a folk song. Called “Oi, Pid Vishneyu” (“Oh, Under the Cherry Tree”), the song is a lighthearted lyric about the trials of a ywom age gap marriage where the man is much, much older. The song is actually quite sad, but vocalizes the whole thing as happy. That’s folk songs for ya.

A video of a beautiful a capella rendition is below; below that, the translation. I hope you enjoy it, and expect that I’ll be looking at more age gap-inspired music in the coming weeks.

Oh, Under the Cherry Tree*

Oh, under the cherry tree,

Under the sweet cherry tree,

Stands an old man with a young woman,

Like a sweet berry.

And she pleaded,

And she prayed:

– Please let me, old man,

Go for a walk down the street.

– Oh, I won’t go myself,

And won’t let you, either,

For I know you want to leave me,

Old man that I am.

I’ll buy you a house,

And even more hayfields,

And a pond, and a mill,

And a cherry orchard.

– Oh, I don’t want a house,

Nor hayfields,

Nor a pond, nor a mill,

Nor a cherry orchard.

Oh, you’re an old fogy,

Hunched and bent, like a bow,

But I’m still young,

And happy to go for a walk.

By the brick oven you cough-cough,**

With other young people I laugh-laugh,

Oh, all you do is sleep, while I cry,

Just wasting the summer in vain.

Oh, under the cherry tree,

Under the sweet cherry tree,

Stands an old man with a young woman,

Like a sweet berry.

Image credit: Niklas Morberg

*The lyrics in the original Ukrainian can be found here.

**This passage (italics) is absent from the video recording; other videos I’ve checked out seem to have censored the song in similar fashion … for good reason.