publications & papers
Three international conferences
in Russia celebrating the 175th anniversary
of Tolstoy's birth
28 August -- 5 September 2003
from Turgenev's estate
(page updated 21 September
Photos of Spasskoe-Lutovinovo
(Turgenev's family's estate, Orlov oblast)
[Photos © J. Woodsworth, taken Sunday 31 August 2003]
Poem: "V Spasskom-Lutovinove" [At Spasskoe-Lutovinovo]
(English translation follows)
Spasskoe-Lutovinovo (Orlov Oblast, Russia)
[Original in Russian, written while seated at Russian
writer Ivan Turgenev's favourite oak tree on his family estate, August
To walk through the quiet allées of Turgenev's
museum-estate is most pleasant,
Where each moment one feels one's self wedded
to nature with a joyful solemnity present.
The Spasskoe-Lutovinovo* park is all criss-crossed
by paths with green arcs at their junctures,
And I now see the trees and the gardens and flowers
which I knew before only from pictures.
At one time Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev
himself walked these paths so enlightening.
'Neath his favourite tall trees he would spend many days
sitting: reading, composing and writing.
Today I am sitting and writing these lines
'neath the shade of an oak -- at the edges --
Which Turgenev once planted himself on this spot
near a pond all surrounded by hedges.
In the past more than once the Turgenev park served
as a venue for popular dances,
With gay ribbons and nuts and their prianiks so tasty
the peasants sang songs and romances.
Turgenev invited his actress friend Savina**
to join in the festive occasions.
And during these good years the peasants and landowners
kept up their peaceful relations.
While sitting and watching I can't help but think
of what underlies all these fine shadows,
Of the thoughts represented by such pleasant views
of the ponds and the trees and the meadows,
Of that which the heart can but truly perceive
in a vision of spiritual creation,
Of that which bestows not from soil but from heaven
our true everlasting salvation.
31 August 2003
Translated from the Russian by John Woodsworth
14 September 2003
*The word Spasskoe is related to the Russian words for "Saviour"
and "salvation". Lutovinovo is taken from the family name
of Turgenev's mother.
**Marija Gavrilovna Savina, who often performed leading roles in the
staging of Turgenev's dramatic works.
note: The Cyrillic fonts used to display the Russian text on
these pages were designed by JW in the late 1980s, using the font editor
"FonTastic" on an old 512K Macintosh computer.