Alexander Pushkin – Eugene Onegin I-III – translated by Ana Vasilie


“My uncle, most moral,
When not in hysterics, hysterical.
Off and on, he spouts broad knowledge.
Anything to be acknowledged.
Alas, I must respect him,
But, my god, what boredom
I’m with the sick, day and night
He’s neither stepping away nor towards the light.
Pillows patted,
medicine brought,
sit by a half-dead elder
and listen to the man banter, 
breathe and ask to oneself:
When the fuck will you be dead?”


A philosopher he never was such,
the playboy sent his suitor’s packets of dust.
Only Zeus himself could compare
to the Onegin heir.
My reader, you’ve heard he lives up to his tale:
Drank with the gods from the holy grail;
He’s tall, dark, handsome, and lean,
the one and only Eugene Onegin.
Most of Pushkin’s poems, he’d memorized.
T’was easy to tell which ones he despised.
For me, the summer stories read easy 
but the winter ones make me queasy.
We’re getting off topic, I’m ahead of myself,
pulling Onegin’s adventures straight off the shelf.


Before Eugene, came Papa Onegin,
a man just as reckless but just as keen. 
The man threw parties whilst deep in debt,
He just had to send invitations to every bachelorette.
But he would never learn the kind of life his dad led,
Following Eugene’s debut, Papa Onegin dropped dead. 
It was Monsieur, his teacher, who brought him up,
With the help of Madame, a nanny, who could hardly keep up.
Monsieur l’Abbé’s methods of teaching were unconventional
(And his lessons on morals were not credible).
But he could reach Onegin’s heart with every story he could think of,
And be honest with him when the boy asked about love.
Onegin held on to every word Monsieur said.
Needless to say, he received an A in sex ed.