Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

Oh Terrible, Beloved! A Poet's Loving - Poem by Boris Pasternak

Oh terrible, beloved! A poet's loving
Is a restless god's passionate rage,
And chaos out into the world comes creeping,
As in the ancient fossil age.

His eyes weep him mist by the ton,
Enveloped in tears he is mammoth-like,
Out of fashion. He knows it must not be done.
Ages have passed-he does not know why.

He sees wedding parties all around,
Drunken unions celebrated unaware,
Common frogspawn found in every pond
Ritually adorned as precious caviare.

Like some Watteau pearl, how cleverly
A snuffbox embraces all life's matter,
And vengeance is wreaked on him, probably
Because, where they distort and flatter,

Where simpering comfort lies and fawns,
Where they rub idle shoulders, crawl like drones,
He will raise your sister from the ground,
Use her like a bacchante from the Grecian urns,

And pour into his kiss the Andes' melting,
And morning in the steppe, under the sway
Of dusted stars, as night's pallid bleating
Bustles about the village on its way.

And the botanical vestry's dense blackness,
And all the ravine's age-old breath,
Waft over the ennui of the stuffed mattress,
And the forest's ancient chaos spurts forth


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010



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