When you are old/Когда ты станешь старой

These lines were written by William Butler Yeats, probably the most renowned of Irish poets. They are dedicated to Maud Gonne, an actress, Irish activist and beautiful woman, whom Yeats was passionately in love with for a good 50 years of his life. Maud Gonne never became his wife.

W.B. Yeats, translation by Serafima Kuropatkina


Когда ты станешь сонной и седой,

Кивая у огня, возьми тот том,

Листай его и вспоминай о том,

Как был глубок и мягок взор младой.


Как много тех, что радость твоих дней

И красоту превозносили вслух,

Но лишь один любил скитаний дух

И на лице печальный бег теней.


И у камина голову склонив,

Шепнешь, немного грустно, что с тех пор

Любовь гуляет по вершинам гор,

Его лицо в мерцаньи звезд сокрыв.

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true;

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars

Murmus, a little sadly, how love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Violin or Fiddle?

Violin or Fiddle?

What is the difference between a violin and a fiddle, if any?

In terms of structure, the modern versions of these instruments are identical. Sometimes fiddles are said to have a lower bridge*, which slightly reduces the space between the strings and fingerboard, and makes the sound a bit more "harsh”. The main difference, however, is in the repertoire. 

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Irish about Ireland

The Irish made a beautiful film about their country and themselves:

Yes, it is that beautiful in Ireland… in good weather… which sometimes really happens!

Yes, their English actually sounds like that.

No, we won’t be able to visit all those places in 10 days in May… But we’ll see 30% of what was in the film and some more!


Have you ever fallen in love while travelling?

Have you ever fallen in love while travelling?

I don’t think I know anyone who would deny the importance of human relations, affection, love and friendship. Some spend half of their lives looking for the prefect soul mate. Others decide for the "bird in the hand", and find themselves glancing longingly into the bushes from time to time. Yet social contacts are important not only for meeting our need of affection.

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Are you afraid to travel?

Are you afraid to travel?

I always wondered what distinguished people who are capable of such daring travels? Like a turtle wears its shell, we always carry our world with us - a house built of knowledge and culture, values, norms and principles we absorbed from family, school, community and country. It becomes our protection against difficulties, unforeseen circumstances and unexplained events. 

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Dolmens in Ireland

Dolmens in Ireland

Portal tombs or dolmens are one of the mysteries of our planet. Why, how and what has inspired our ancestors 4-6 thousand years ago to build these structures of similar form and function all over the planet? 

Ireland holds more than 170 dolmens, including the largest in Europe - Brownshill Dolmen. 

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A song about seaweed or nuances in "developing" traditional Irish texts

A song about seaweed or nuances in "developing" traditional Irish texts

In the trip to Ireland that I am now preparing, I would like to talk about Irish music and the way it reflects historical events and cultural context of its time. Traditional songs and their lyrics draw my first and foremost attention. Let’s take a look at the folk song Dúlamán. 
There is a yellow-gold head on the Irish seaweed

There are two blunt ears on the stately seaweed

Spotted shoes has the Irish seaweed

The stately seaweed has a beret and trousers 

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Of Burmese Alchemists and Fruit Maidens

Of Burmese Alchemists and Fruit Maidens

Alchemists were very lonely. They had no need for food, but sometimes ate fruit. The smell of meat was extremely repulsive to them. For this reason alchemists couldn’t stand the company of people for more than a couple of minutes. Yet they were not ascetics, and their young and beautiful bodies craved for love and pleasure. The ordinary women, being meat eaters, were not an option: way too stinky! So the alchemists had to look for a worthy substitute. 

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I'm not a blogger

I’m not a blogger, but I will use this space

To write about the things that get me going:

The wonders of the world that I embrace,

Discovery through feeling and through knowing.


I’ll write about my Homeland, if I may,

And keep as far from politics as ever.

 I’ll write of where I stay and where I stray

And hope you will support this small endeavor.


And if you do not hear from me too long

Don’t bore me like an angry rusty auger.

My writing skills are poor, don’t get me wrong,

I told you from the start: I am not a blogger.

14 July 2014