Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

Spasskoe - Poem by Boris Pasternak

In Spasskoe, unforgettable September sheds its leaves.
Isn’t it time to close up the summer-house?
Echo traps the thudding of axe-blows in the trees,
and, past the fence, barters a herd-boy’s shout.


Last night the marsh by the park shivered, too.
The moment the sun rises it vanishes.
The bluebell can’t drink the rheumatic dew,
and a dirty lilac stain soils the birches.


The wood’s downcast. It wants to sleep, as well,
under the snow, in the deep quiet of the bear’s den.
The park, gaping, framed by tree-trunks stands still,
in neat obituary-columns, its edges blackened.

Has the birch copse stopped fading, staining,
its shade more watery still, and growing thin?
And again, you’re, fifteen – it’s still complaining –
again – ‘oh child, oh, what shall we do with them?’

They’re already so many it’s time to stop playing.
They’re – birds in the bushes, mushrooms in the trees.
Already we’ve veiled our horizon with them, shrouding
each other’s landscape with fog-bound mysteries.

The comic, on the night of his death, typhus-stricken,
hears a peal: it’s Homeric laughter from the box.
Today in Spasskoe, the same grief, in hallucination,
stares, from the road, at a house of weathered logs.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010



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