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Thread: верба

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Turkey
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    верба

    Greetings

    Again I refer to the same song:
    Лишь белые вербы, как белые сестры, глядят тебе вслед.

    Presumably верба and the commoner ива are exactly the same, aren't they? (I.e. ‘willow’.) I was just wondering why верба is used here – does it add something to the song that I've been missing?

    Best wishes, and many thanks,

    Simon

    PS While on this line, please may I just check that it indeed means, “Only the white willow trees, which follow you with their eyes (gaze after you as you depart) like white sisters”?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    St.Petersburg
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    Re: верба

    Hi, I believe there is a slight difference between plain willow and верба, in my dictionary it's "pussy willow" or "violet willow" Take a look here to see the difference http://img15.nnm.ru/d/b/0/7/5/f64956...0370a354bf.jpg
    By the way, in Russia верба is a Easter tree
    please may I just check that it indeed means, “Only the white willow trees, which follow you with their eyes (gaze after you as you depart) like white sisters”
    I would better use "sisters in white" here, referring to a tree in white flowers.

  3. #3
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    Re: верба

    Many thanks, truly most helpful. As for pussy willow, I know it from my Iranian friends here. In Persian it's بیدمشک (bidmeshk) and is used to flavour نقل (noql), one of their many delicious varieties of sugar. May I ask if you use it for flavouring in Russia too?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Re: верба

    Quote Originally Posted by seitt View Post
    Many thanks, truly most helpful. As for pussy willow, I know it from my Iranian friends here. In Persian it's بیدمشک (bidmeshk) and is used to flavour نقل (noql), one of their many delicious varieties of sugar. May I ask if you use it for flavouring in Russia too?
    No, it is not used in cookery here. But верба is very poetical word and Russians have very special feeling to this plant. It is one of the first trees coming out in spring, after long cold winter, and is associated with youth and freshness. Plus, as said, religious connotations, of course.

  5. #5
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    Re: верба

    Many thanks, it's lovely to really get the feel of the tree imagery here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Re: верба

    It is interesting indeed. In Polish wierzba is a general term for a willow tree, whereas iwa is Salix caprea L. called ива козья or бредина in Russian.

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