Introduction

Fëdor Ivánovich Tyútchev (1803-73) was born into the ancient nobility, educated at the University of Moscow, and at eighteen entered the diplomatic service, in which he would serve, mainly abroad, for the next twenty-two years. He married a Bavarian member of the aristocracy (Eleonore Peterson, née Countess von Bothmer, a widow with four young sons) and came to regard Munich as his true home, making friends there with Heine and Schelling, and sending some forty poems to Pushkin's Sovreménnik over the 1836-38 period, where they were published over the signature of 'F.T.' but attracted little attention.

Tyútchev’s work, occasional and never abundant, was rediscovered by Nekrásov, and remains celebrated for its lyrical nature pieces and intense love poetry.  He is now regarded as the true descendent of Pushkin: the little poems sent to Sovreménnik are known by heart across Russia and the love poems speak of a torment that no one will wish to experience. All the poetry, except the savage invective of the late political pieces, which can rise into true eloquence, is pantheistic, profoundly pessimistic and dualistic, indeed Manichaen. The Cosmos around us is always at the mercy of Chaos. Our existence here is fleeting and precarious. Tyútchev’s poems are the more remarkable in that he used Russian infrequently: his wives did not speak Russian, and Tyútchev's everyday speech and correspondence was in French.

This free ebook has a formal translation of 40 poems, with facing Russian text, an Introduction, a list of references and resources, an extended essay on Tyutchev's thought, notes on his prosody and links to critical articles in Russian and to audio recordings.
 

A free e-book in pdf format.
 

Sample Poems

1. Весенняя гроза


Люблю грозу в начале мая,
Когда весенний, первый гром,
как бы резвяся и играя,
Грохочет в небе голубом.

Гремят раскаты молодые,
Вот дождик брызнул, пыль летит,
Повисли перлы дождевые,
И солнце нити золотит.

С горы бежит поток проворный,
В лесу не молкнет птичий гам,
И гам лесной и шум нагорный ―
Все вторит весело громам.

Ты скажешь: ветреная Геба,
Кормя Зевесова орла,
Громокипящий кубок с неба,
Смеясь, на землю пролила.

1.  Spring Storm

I love a storm in early May,
when first of thunder crackles through
the frolic of a happy day
reverberating into blue.

New peals of thunder. Spread among
the dust thrown up in plashy spreads
are liquid pearls of raindrops strung
upon the sunlight’s golden threads.

Then floods on mountain slopes appear,
and bird songs come from woods around:
the hill and forest calls are here
now gathered in one gladdened sound.

You’ll say that Hebe, giving sup
to Zeus’ eagle here has downed
the thunder from her heavenly cup
and, laughing, spilled it on the ground.

1828, modified in the 1850s.


34. Silentium

Молчи, скрывайся и таи
И чувства и мечты свои ―
Пускай в душевной глубине
Встают и заходят оне
Безмолвно, как звезды в ночи,-
Любуйся ими ―  и молчи.

Как сердцу высказать себя?
Другому как понять тебя?
Поймёт ли он, чем ты живёшь?
Мысль изречённая есть ложь.
Взрывая, возмутишь ключи,-
Питайся ими ―  и молчи.

Лишь жить в себе самом умей ―
Есть целый мир в душе твоей
Таинственно-волшебных дум;
Их оглушит наружный шум,
Дневные разгонят лучи,-
Внимай их пенью ―  и молчи!..


34. Silentium

Be silent, hide yourself, conceal
the things you dream of, things you feel:
As the stars in motion, let
these marvels from ascension set.
Let depths of soul then stay unheard.
In awe reflect without a word!

The flowering heart is not divined
so can some other know your mind?
Or say what you are living by
when thoughts once spoken are a lie?
The water’s clouded when it’s stirred,
so drink the spring without a word:

So live within your self’s control:
a world is centered in your soul,
and one of strange enchanted thoughts
that noisy flare outside distorts.
By day’s hard glare be undeterred,
take in those songs without a word

Second half of the 1820s. The title is Latin for Silence.

References

1. Jude, F. (2000) The Complete Poems of Tyútchev in an English translation. http://www.ruthenia.ru/tiutcheviana/publications/trans/jude.html 
2. Dewey, J. (2014) Fyodor Tyuchev: Selected Poems. http://www.Tyútchev.org.uk/Poems.html
3. Dewey, J. (2010) Mirror of the Soul: A Life of the Poet Fyodor Tyútchev. Brimstone Press. http://www.Tyútchev.org.uk/MOTS.html
4. Bristol, E. (1991) A History of Russian Poetry. O.U.P. 126-9.
5. Mirsky, D.S. (1958) A History of Russian Literature. Vintage Books.132-6
6. M. Mandelbaum, M. (1971) History, Man and Reason: A Study in Nineteenth Century Thought. Johns Hopkins Press.
7. Muller, J.Z. (2003). The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Modern European Thought. Anchor Books.
8. Ruda, D. (2018) The development of nationalism by intellectuals in the Balkans in the 19th century: A comparison of Greek and Serbian national movements. http://www.nouvelle-europe.eu/en/development-nationalism-intellectuals-balkans-19th-century-comparison-greek-and-serbian-national. Also see:  Kosyk, V. (1993) Pan Slavism. http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com , J. Llewellyn et al, (2008) Nationalism as a cause of World War I. https://alphahistory.com/worldwar1/nationalism/
9. J. Hirschberger, J. (2008)  A Short History of Western Philosophy. Lutterworth Press.
10. Honderich T. ed. (1995) The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. O.U.P.
11. Thomas, K. (1997) German Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche. O.U.P.
12. Philosophy Basics writers (2019) German Idealism https://www.philosophybasics.com/movements_german_idealism.html
13. Guyer, P. (2015) Idealism https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/idealism/
14. Platonic Siddhas: Supernatural Philosophers of Neoplatonism by Shaw, Kelly, E.F., Crabtree, A. and Marshall P. Eds. (2015) The Emergence of Evolutionary Panentheism by Michael Murphy in Beyond Physicalism: Towards Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality  Rowman & Littlefield.
15. Bowie, A. (2016) Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/schelling/
16. Das, S. B. (2019) Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775—1854) https://www.iep.utm.edu/schellin/
17. A large literature, e.g. P. Davies and J. Gribbin's The Matter Myth (1991), and J. Briggs and FD Peat's The Turbulent Mirror (1989). G. Playfair and S. Hill's The Cycles of Heaven (1978).  Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers' Order Out of Chaos (1984).  Morris Kline's Mathematics and the Search for Knowledge (1986) is a more advanced text. R. Lewis's Complexity (1993). Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart's The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World. (1994).
18. Jones, J. (2019) An Introduction to Hegel’s Philosophy of History: The Road to Progress Runs First Through Dark Times. http://www.openculture.com/2017/01/an-introduction-to-hegels-philosophy-of-history.html
19. Kelly, E.F., Crabtree, A. and Marshall P. Eds. (2015) The Emergence of Evolutionary Panentheism by Michael Murphy in Beyond Physicalism: Towards Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality. Rowman & Littlefield.
20. Koestler, A. (1972) The Roots of Coincidence. Random House.
21. Many popular treatments, e.g. P. Davies and J. Gribbin's The Matter Myth (1991), and J. Briggs and FD Peat's The Turbulent Mirror (1989).
22. Playfair, G and Hill, S. (1979) The Cycles of Heaven. Avon Books.
23. Prigogine, I. and Stenger, S. (1984) Order Out of Chaos. Bantam Books.
24. Non-mathematicians should see the many popular accounts of modern mathematical thought — e.g. John Allen Paulos's Beyond Numeracy: An Uncommon Dictionary of Mathematics (1991), and Ian Stewart's The Problems of Mathematics (1987). Morris Kline's Mathematics and the Search for Knowledge (1986) is a more advanced text.
25. Lewis, R. (1993) Complexity. Springer.
26. Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart's The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World. (1994).
27. Leddy, T. (2014) Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling on Art, 1807: Critic of 20th Century Art http://aestheticstoday.blogspot.com/2014/08/friedrich-wilhlm-joseph-von-schelling.html
28. Ernst Cassirer, E. (1953) Language and Myth, Dover, Schlip, P.A. Ed. (1949) The Philosophy of Ernst Cassirer,  and Hyman', J Perspective in Cooper, D.E. (2019) Aesthetics: The Classic Readings. Wiley Blackwell.
29. Alexander, T.  and Langer, S. in Cooper, D.E. (2019) Aesthetics: The Classic Readings. Wiley Blackwell, Langer, Suzanne K entry in Ted Honderich, T. (1995) The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (1995) and  Hanfling, O. (1992) Aesthetics: An Introduction, 202-207.
30. Bowie, A. 2016) Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/
fall2016/entries/schelling/.
31. Bowie, A. (2019) Schelling: art as the ‘organ of philosophy’ https://www.manchesteropenhive.com
32. Shimomisse, E. (1997) Friedrich Joseph Schelling http://www5.csudh.edu/phenom_studies/europ19/lect_3.html
33. Vater, M. (1998). Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling. https://epublications.marquette.edu
34. Richards, R.J. () Nature is the Poetry of Mind, or How Schelling Solved Goethe’s Kantian Problems http://home.uchicago.edu/~rjr6/articles/Schelling-Goethe.pdf
35. Dewey, 2010. Preface, p. 15.
36. Marsh, E. The Odes of Horace. Macmillan, 1941.