Mikhail Lermontov – Sail (The lonely sail turns white): Verse

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Lermontov wrote the poem “Sail” in 1832 when he was just beginning his career. This theme is directly related to a real event in his life and, the poem “Sail” fully reflected his thoughts and hopes. The poet compares the calm sea with his former serene life. The central image of the poem is a lonely sail in the boundless sea, which is compared with the state of the lyrical hero. The poet’s restless nature is like a “rebellious” sail that “asks for storms”. A very important statement is that “he is not looking for happiness” but ready for life’s hardships and suffering for the sake of accomplishing some great deed.

It is a very deep poem in which the young Lermontov was able to show the presence of a great multifaceted talent. His masterful combination of pure lyricism with a philosophical theme is a rare poetic quality. 

Парус (Белеет парус одинокий): СтихSail (The lonely sail turns white): Verse
Михаил ЛермонтовMikhail Lermontov
Белеет парус одинокой
В тумане моря голубом!..
Что ищет он в стране далекой?
Что кинул он в краю родном?..
The lonely sail turns white
In the blue fog of the sea! ..
What is it looking for in a distant country?
What did he throw in his native land? ..
Играют волны — ветер свищет,
И мачта гнется и скрыпит…
Увы! он счастия не ищет
И не от счастия бежит!
Waves play – the wind whistles,
And the mast bends and creaks …
Alas! he does not seek happiness
And does not run from happiness!
Под ним струя светлей лазури,
Над ним луч солнца золотой…
А он, мятежный, просит бури,
Как будто в бурях есть покой!
Beneath him is a stream brighter than azure,
Above him is a golden ray of sun…
And he, rebellious, asks for storms,
As if there is peace in storms!

I hope you enjoyed this poem as much as I did

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