Demyan Bedny


No One Knew - Poem by Demyan Bedny

It was a day like any other,
The same dull sky, the same drab street.
There was the usual angry pother
From the policeman on his beat.
Proud of his fine new miter's luster,
The archpriest strutted down the nave;
And the pub rocked with brawl and bluster,
Where scamps gulped down what fortune gave.
The market women buzzed and bickered
Like flies above the honeypots.
The burghers' wives bustled and dickered,
Eyeing the drapers' latest lots.
An awe-struck peasant stared and stuttered,
Regarding an official door
Where yellow rags of paper fluttered:
A dead ukase of months before.
The fireman ranged his tower, surveying
The roofs, like the chained bears one sees;
And soldiers shouldered arms, obeying
The drill sergeant's obscenities.
Slow carts in caravans went winding
Dockward, where floury stevedores moiled;
And, under convoy, in the blinding
Dust of the road, a student toiled,
And won some pity, thus forlorn,
From the drunk hand who poured his scorn
In curses on some pal and brother. . . .
Russia was aching with the thorn
And bearing her old cross, poor mother.
That day, a day like any other,
And not a soul knew that Lenin was born!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 14, 2013



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