Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

False Alarm - Poem by Boris Pasternak

From early morning-nonsense
With tubs and troughs and strain,
With dampness in the evening
And sunsets in the rain.

Deep sighing of the darkness
And choking swallowed tears,
A railway engine's calling
Down from the sixteenth verst.

Outside and in the garden
A short fast-darkening day;
Small breakages and losses
In true September way.

In daytime autumn's vastness
Beyond the stream is rent
By wailing in the graveyard,
By anguish and lament.

But when the widow's sobbing
Is carried from the bank,
With all my blood I'm with her
And see my death point-blank.

As every year I see it
Out of the hall downstairs,
The long-delayed approaching
Of this my final year.

Through leaves in yellow terror,
Its way swept clear, I see
That winter from the hillside
Is staring down at me.

Comments about False Alarm by Boris Pasternak

  • Susan Williams (2/4/2016 3:32:00 PM)

    There are no words. Not to describe the impact of this man's writing. There are no words great enough. He used them all and they won't suffer themselves to be used again. So I'll just sit here and reread this poem until it is part of me which is as it should be. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010

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