Sylvan Sadness by Eliso Tsintsabadze

“Sylvan Sadness” is the name of a poem by Velimir Khlebnikov. Actually, it is not a very good translation of the title “Lesnaya Toska” and I never found the poem itself in English. The poem is a conversation between the forest, wind, mermaids and morning.

тоска, noun /ˈtō-skə/ - In dictionaries, the Russian word toska is described as some sort of melancholia, sadness, silence, yearning and anguish, but it does not have a proper equivalent in English.

"No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is adull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody or something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

— Vladimir Nabokov


Eliso Tsintsabadze has an upcoming exhibition opening on Friday March 24th from 6/10 p.m. at SoAM studio, Brooklyn, NY.  The show will be on view through April 6th.

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