Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

Change - Poem by Boris Pasternak

I used to glorify the poor,
Not simply lofty views expressing:
Their lives alone, I felt, were true,
Devoid of pomp and window-dressing.

No stranger to the manor house,
Its finery and lordly tenor,
I was a friend of down-and-outs,
And shunned the idly sponging manner.

For choosing friendship in the ranks
Of working people, though no rebel,
I had the honour to be stamped
As also one among the rabble.

The state of basements, unadorned,
Of attics with no frills or curtains
Was tangible without pretence
And full of substance, weighty, certain.

And I went bad when rot defaced
Our time, and life became infested,
When grief was censured as disgrace
And all played optimists and yes-men.

My faith in those who seemed my friends
Was broken and our ties were sundered.
I, too, lost Man, the Human, since
He had been lost by all and sundry.


Comments about Change by Boris Pasternak

  • Susan Williams (7/9/2018 4:24:00 PM)

    He is quoted as saying: “In all my ways let me pierce through into the very essence....” I think that speaks to the why of this poem (Report)Reply

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  • Lungelo S Mbuyazi (7/9/2018 3:50:00 PM)

    A nice write that's so mind provoking.. (Report)Reply

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  • Glen Kappy (7/9/2018 7:36:00 AM)

    i thought i knew where this poem was heading until the last two stanzas. not only was the rhyme pattern abandoned in them but also any sense that i could make of them. romanticizing any person or group is another form of the grass is always greener syndrome. people are people, but it's a challenge to see the dignity and humanity of some in contrast to some others. -gk (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • (7/9/2018 6:51:00 AM)

    Foreshadowing and then experiencing the trauma of what he depicts in Dr. Zhivago, (I think) his famous novel of the communist revolution. (Report)Reply

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  • Robert Murray Smith (7/9/2018 6:38:00 AM)

    I don't find great substance in this poem. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Drtony Brahmin (7/9/2018 5:34:00 AM)

    I, too, lost Man, the Human, since
    He had been lost by all and sundry. the poor and the rich...... thank u. tony
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Mahtab Bangalee (7/9/2018 1:16:00 AM)

    thoughtfully crafted every stanza - and I like to quote last one-

    My faith in those who seemed my friends
    Was broken and our ties were sundered.
    I, too, lost Man, the Human, since
    He had been lost by all and sundry.
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sylvia Frances Chan (7/9/2018 12:41:00 AM)

    These kind of poems deprimed me and makes me saddest. Imaginable in the Sovjet of BP's time. I haven't known that he was a poet too, I thought that he was only a novelist/storyteller. Thank you so much Poem Hunter and Org that you have chosen BP's CHANGE as the Modern Poem Of The Day! Congratulations Poem Hunter and Team, also for the honourable Mr. Boris Pasternak's family and descendants all over the world. A 10 and much much more for the vote. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams (7/9/2017 2:29:00 PM)

    Does one bias offend less than another bias? There really are bad rotting souls in the ranks of the poor as well as in the ranks of the wealthy. A less judgmental eye might see more to love (Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar Panda (7/9/2017 10:53:00 AM)

    A nice poem about the plight of the poor and how the poet likes to be one from them. Thanks for sharing. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. Asuncion (7/9/2017 3:25:00 AM)

    Reminds me of the song CHANGE popularized by TEARS FOR FEARS... Thanks for posting.... (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi Louis (7/9/2017 1:23:00 AM)

    Without pretence! ! Thanks for sharing. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010



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