The present article deals with some of the problems raised by the translation of poetry from Russian to Italian. On the basis of the first six verses of the Hymn in Honour of the Plague, from Pushkin's A Feast in Time of Plague, the author shows how Italian translators render rhythm and metre when translating Russian classics. Through a period of 60 years (1936-1996) The Hymn in Honour of the Plague was translated six times, respectively by R. Küfferle, R. Poggioli, T. Landolfi, E. Lo Gatto, S. Vitale, and S. De Vidovich. Lo Gatto is the only translator who uses a rhymed hendecasyllable. All other translators (with the exception of De Vidovich, whose translation is proselike) recur to a 9-syllable verse with or without rhyme. Küfferle, Poggioli and Lo Gatto somehow sacrifice not only the syntax, but also the lexicon and the images (and, as a consequence, the rhythm) of the original in order to keep the rhyme. This is the reason why today their translations have irremediably become obsolete.
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • A. S. Pushkin
  • poetry translation
  • rhyme
  • А.С. Пушкин
  • поэтический перевод
  • рифма

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