Friday, October 21, 2011

Dream or Nightmare?

Moscow metro logo / Image courtesy of Wikipedia
[From yesterday’s edition of the newspaper Rossiyskaya gazeta]

Until the end of October, the loudspeakers of the Moscow metro will broadcast poems about autumn.
The underground chambers will resound with the lines of Turgenev, Tyutchev, Lisyansky, Dementyev, and others. The poems will be performed not by actors, but by subway announcers.
The “Underground” has also arranged other literary surprises.
“Muscovites spend a lot of time on public transportation,” explained Svetlana Tsareva, press secretary for the Moscow metro. “In order for time to pass usefully, a ‘literary train’ has been launched on the Filyovsky metro line. The walls of its cars are decorated with excerpts from the works of Dante, Boccaccio, and other Italian greats. So it will make for a happier ride.”
[Translation mine]


  1. Jamie - I thought I just posted a comment here about Marina Tsvetaeva's metro poem 'Newspaper Readers', but it's vanished. Were you able to view it?
    Thank you for this amusing post...

  2. No, unfortunately I never saw it. Can you give the gist? You've piqued my interest.

  3. Here is Ilya Shambat's translation of Tsvetaeva's poem (first stanza only):
    The underground snake crawls,
    Crawls, carries people.
    And each - with his own
    Newspaper (with his own
    Eczema!) Newspaper
    Bone eater, chewing tick.
    Readers of newspapers,
    Chewers of mastics.
    You can find the rest at
    I liked your latest post but I see that so far no-one has been brave enough to formulate a response to your question! Perhaps it's impossible...