These two English Translations of the Russian poem by Andrei Voznesenky are about a girl being rejected for the first time. The young girl’s feelings of hurt and rejection are described in terms of coldness throughout the poem. “The first ice of human hurt”. The theme that is put across from the poem is of growing up, and the experience of loosing someone for the first time. Both of these poems are very similar, but they have both been translated in two different styles.
This helps to alter the meaning a little from the original Russian version.
The titles of the two Russian poems by Andrei Voznesenky ‘First ice’ and ‘First Frost’ differ in many ways. Examples of this are the word ‘Ice’ used in the first poem, ice I hard and takes a long time to melt. This suggests to me that it will take a long time for the girl to get over the special person who has hurt them so much.
The writer of this poem probably used ‘Ice’ to show what the girl was feeling inside. Whereas ‘Frost’ in the second poem is softer and doesn’t hang around for a long time, meaning it may not take as long for this person to get over there hurt and rejection from there lover.
In the first poem the phrase ‘A girl freezes’ shows how the girl has become shocked, frozen to the spot. In poem two ‘ A girl freezing’ tells us that she isn’t frozen to the spot she is just freezing.
This shows how the girl in the first poem has reacted a lot worse to the news of her rejection, she has been hurt more than the girl in the second poem. In ‘First ice’ the translator uses the word ‘smeared’ to describe how the girls lipstick has ended up on her face. In ‘First frost’ the word ‘Stained’ was used this is like staining a dress, this word is used to symbolise how much pain she is going through at the time.
Smeared is something you can easily remove whereas stained cannot be removed as easy and will hang around. The line ‘She’ll have to go home alone alone’ tells you that the girl is on her own and very lonely. In poem two ‘she has to beat her way home alone’ this tells me that the girl has to fight her way home through the bad weather. On the other hand, it could be a metaphor suggesting that she has to find her way through life on her own and ‘beat’ suggests that that will be hard for her.
The ‘icy’ street suggests that the path in life that she now must follow will be slippery, cold, harsh and could hurt her, it will also be hard to follow and difficult; maybe because she no longer has him to help. As the poem continues, ‘First frost’ implies that in this maybe happy time in her life this has been the first hurtful and cold thing that has happened to her. It is metaphorical, it could also mean that it is her first separation and split with a man that she loves.
It is like, the first ice in late autumn will destroy the flowers and plants; this conversation will destroy her feelings and hurt her harshly. The poem also says that it is ‘a beginning of losses, the first frost of telephone phrases. ’ This also shows that her boyfriend has split with her over the phone and that it could just be the first time that she has separated with someone over the phone. By repeating the words, ‘first frost’ in the next line also puts emphasis on the situation and how painful it really is for her.
The last line in the poem also backs up the point that it is her first separation from a man that she loves because it says, ‘the first frost of having been hurt. ’ The poem gives the reader a feeling of loneliness on the girl’s part and that she is lost and cannot find her way down her path in life. A person phoning their partner to announce their choice to separate from them is going to be painful anyway but this seems deeper and this poem gives us the feeling that the girl is feeling great hurt.
In the last two lines of the poem it makes a reference to the ‘start of winter’ which backs up the point that I made earlier which is that now that this has happened it is going to be the start of a harsh, cold and hurtful period in the girl’s life. I prefer ‘A girl freezes in a telephone both’ compared to ‘A girl is freezing in a telephone both’ in poem two. I prefer this because I feel that the word freezes symbolises how much shock she is in and how confused she is. This I feel makes you understand more about what the girl is feeling, she is shocked like when you see or hear something and you can’t believe it.