нельзя с Александром Сергеичемпоужинать в "Яр" заскочить

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by seitt, May 21, 2013.

  1. seitt Senior Member


    I'm having much difficulty with the last two lines of this song, particularly the part I have put in the question box. The song is Булат Окуджава's "А всё-таки жаль".

    Было́е нельзя вороти́ть -- и печа́литься не о чём:
    у каждой эпохи свои подрастают леса.
    А все-таки жаль, что нельзя с Александром Сергеичем
    поужинать в "Яр" заскочить хоть на четверть часа.

    Please could you explain? What exactly is the singer referring to? What do they have to do with the forests growing on every era of the second line, please?

    Many thanks

  2. Maroseika Moderator

    "Яр" is the famous restaurant of the epoch of Pushkin (Alexandr Sergeevich Pushkin), used to be visited by him and his friends - men of letters . Okudzava is regreting for not being able to have a chat with Pushkin in the restaurant.
    So each epoch has its own forest (яр > "Яр"), and the one of Okudzava's epoch is not the same as that of Pushkin's.
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  3. gvozd Senior Member

    We can't bring the past back. Forests grow and die, an epoch follows another epoch. Александр Сергеевич Пушкин is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet. The author wishes to have a dinner with Pushkin at the restaurant "Яр" and expresses his sadness about it being impossible because they were born in different ages.
  4. Sobakus Senior Member

    Лес is a metaphor for generation.
  5. seitt Senior Member

    Thank you all very much indeed, truly most insightful.

    I was just wondering: what is the force of у in у каждой эпохи here, please? Is it like 'over', i.e. is the idea that forests grow over or on top of each era?
  6. Ёж! Senior Member

    It's the same as in the phrase "у него есть штаны" ('he has trousers'). "есть" is not the only verb that can be used in such constructions.
    Very much not necessarily. Not only people grow and die, many other things too.
    That word "лес" makes me think of fresh air, mostly (not of building or something). I think this is evident but said just in case.

    PS: not "не о чём", but "не о чем".
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  7. Descendant

    Descendant Member

    Here "у" is an auxilliary preposition meaning posession. "У каждой эпохи" — "Each epoch has [its own forests]"
  8. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    I'd say the line "у каждой эпохи свои подрастают леса" just refers to times changing. Also, it should be не о чем in the first line, not не о чём.
  9. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks to you all – indeed most helpful.

    Also, Ёж! and Saluton, many thanks for your correction of не о чём to не о чем. Since, as I believe, it's о чём, is the reason that it's не о чем that the stress is not on the word чем but on the word не (не́ о чем)?

    Most interestingly, I looked this up in my Russian textbook, which seems to contradict itself: it gives
    Нам не́ о чем бы́ло говори́ть.
    but then, a few lines later,
    Не́ о чём говори́ть.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  10. Ёж! Senior Member

    Right. The textbook contains a spelling mistake.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  11. Sobakus Senior Member

    Only living beings can grow and die, especially with the verb подрастать (to grow up).
  12. Ёж! Senior Member

    For instance, forests. In fact, I understand that line quite literally: it talks of forests, and that's all. Exactly like gvozd described. Fresh air, life, difference, worlds of green, change etc. Then, of course, the line may lead to various philosophical wanderings and generalizations…
  13. Ёж! Senior Member

    By the way, the real meaning of this preposition is not exactly possession. Consider: "у меня кончилось терпение" ('I lost my temper'); "у меня кончился бензин" ('I ran out of petrol'); there is little posession here. Also, this construction can take a large phrase, like: "у нас вчера случились страшные события" ('horrible events occured yesterday at our home'); "у нас вчера кошка родила котят" ('yesterday our cat gave birth to a brood of kittens'). Here no possession either. Therefore, what we have is just a locational preposition; the rest is implications that may be not true on occasions.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  14. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks, truly most helpful.

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