Analysis of Pushkin’s poem “Borodino anniversary”
“Borodino anniversary” Alexander Pushkin
Great day of Borodin
We are fraternal trinity remembering
They said: “As the tribes went,
Russia’s trouble threatening;
Not all Europe was here?
And whose star led her!
But we have become the fifth solid
And the breast took pressure
Tribes obedient to the will of the proud
And equal was unequal dispute.
And what? your disastrous escape
Now they are forgotten;
Lost Russian bayonet and snow,
Buried their glory in the wilderness.
Familiar feast beckons them again –
The blood of the Slavs is for them;
But it will be hard hangover;
But the dream will be long
In the close, cold housewarming,
Under the grass of the northern fields …
In the summer of 1831, two Pushkin creations were dated, united by a patriotic theme: the text being analyzed and “Slanderers of Russia”. Both works were included in the thematic brochure, which was released in September of the same year and caused a wave of contradictory reviews. The unequivocal attitude to the Polish question, criticism of the positions of European politicians, support of the official course – relying on the peculiarities of the ideological content, researchers often consider two texts as a whole.
The title of the poem and the theme of memories that enliven the events of twenty years ago allow the author to emphasize the historical analogy: the news of the successful assault on Warsaw coincided with the anniversary of the Borodino battle.
In a direct speech of a generalized image of patriots, a lyrical “we,” the antithesis traditional for state-patriotic lyricism is modeled. Russia defeated Napoleonic Europe, but the latter managed to forget the recent experience of the “disastrous escape”. New claims of Europeans are met with an ironic response. In response, it is easy to distinguish the influence of folklore sources. Ambitious conquerors are honored with a mocking invitation, followed by a warning: after the feast, a heavy hangover and death will come, metaphorically identified with a long sleep in the cold “northern fields”.
The author refers to modern events. The patriots’ prediction came true: the Polish forces would not become the head of the anti-Russian movement, their rebellion was crushed. The winners show humanity, not seeking revenge on the defeated for long-term offenses. The events of the beginning of the 17th century, the seizure and ruin of Russian lands – such is the significance of the historical allusions included in the text.
The lyrical hero considers resolved another round of the long-standing “dispute of the Slavs”. He addresses a series of rhetorical questions to his main rivals – European Russophobes. Three stanzas are devoted to extensive question constructions. With their help, the shades of the emotional reaction to the unfounded claims of outsiders are transmitted. The poet introduces a dismissive description of Russia into the text, the authorship of which belongs to French diplomats and enlighteners. It is marked in italics. The slanderous fabrications of the enemies are ineffectual, insignificant and ridiculous. The subject of speech is proud of a strong Motherland, whose power could not shake internal and external conflicts.
In the final part, interrogative intonations are replaced by exclamations. The hero glorifies the victorious warriors, seeing in them worthy successors of the Suvorov glory.