Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

Winter Night

Poem by Boris Pasternak

It snowed and snowed ,the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

As during summer midges swarm
To beat their wings against a flame
Out in the yard the snowflakes swarmed
To beat against the window pane

The blizzard sculptured on the glass
Designs of arrows and of whorls.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

Distorted shadows fell
Upon the lighted ceiling:
Shadows of crossed arms,of crossed legs-
Of crossed destiny.

Two tiny shoes fell to the floor
And thudded.
A candle on a nightstand shed wax tears
Upon a dress.

All things vanished within
The snowy murk-white,hoary.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

A corner draft fluttered the flame
And the white fever of temptation
Upswept its angel wings that cast
A cruciform shadow

It snowed hard throughout the month
Of February, and almost constantly
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.


Comments about Winter Night by Boris Pasternak

  • LikaU (1/14/2020 1:55:00 AM)

    Into the blizzard’s snowy dance
    The world was swept
    A candle flickered on the table
    Its wax has wept…

    Like summer moths eclipse a flame
    to die in vain
    The snowflakes swarm toward the
    window pane

    The blizzard cut on the frozen glass
    Like a sculptor’s hand
    A candle flickered on the table
    Its wax has wept…(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Angela (1/14/2020 1:22:00 AM)

    A bit heavy-handed translation. The poem is Russian feels more etherial (Russian is my native language)(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Chinedu DikeChinedu Dike (8/30/2019 10:26:00 AM)

    Well expressed thoughts and feelings. An insight work of art........................................................(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • PermLara (7/20/2019 3:40:00 PM)

    Then sound of the falling shoes
    To floor. Armchair,
    Abandoned dress. Teardrops of wax
    From candle there.

    All lost in mist so gray and tight
    And hoary white.
    The table, the candle, the swaying light.
    The candlelight.

    The flame just swayed with the draft.
    The ardent fire
    Swung couple of wings in angel form
    aglow higher.

    The whole month the weather was
    This endless white.
    The table, the candle, the swaying light.
    The candlelight.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • PermLara (7/20/2019 3:40:00 PM)

    Across the earth the blizzard was,
    Snow sprawling wide.
    The table, the candle, the swaying light.
    The candlelight.

    Alike in summer swarm of flies
    To deadly flame
    Aspired, rushed the flakes of snow
    To window frame.

    Illuminated ceiling glossed.
    The shadows crossed.
    The overlap of arms and legs,
    Of fate perplex.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ahmed Bulbul Islam (9/18/2018 1:22:00 AM)

    Is it a robot reciting the beautiful poem?(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Ppplz (12/21/2017 5:09:00 PM)

    10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Dutendra ChamlingDutendra Chamling (10/30/2015 3:00:00 AM)

    It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
    Snow swept the world from end to end.
    A candle burned on the table;
    A candle burned.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (6/1/2015 11:26:00 AM)

    The poem vividly describes the formation of shadows around a lone candle in a snowy winter..It seems to describe the emotions crossing the mind in lonely night of winter Difficult to fathom its inner meaning.But the poem is absolutely beautiful with lines that say- - - - Two tiny shoes fell to the floor
    And thudded
    A candle on a night stand shed wax tears
    upon a dress(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (1/11/2015 11:50:00 AM)

    The poem brings alive the scenes of excessive snowfall in one of the coldest countries of the world. The fury as well as the beauty of the experience is unique.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • Ravi ARavi A (7/29/2009 1:06:00 PM)

    I am very familiar with the snow and winter of Russia through many readings. By this poem, Pasternak has once again brought those scenes very much alive to the surface of my mind. 'A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.'. That candle is the sole witness. The effect of these lines is simply amazing. I am simply being carried away to a remote Russian village on a wintry night! May god bless the poet.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • Greenwolfe 1962 (12/9/2008 4:46:00 AM)

    The makers of the movie Dr. Zhivago must have been familiar with this poem. I
    can recall many scenes in the movie that are depicted here in this poem. Indeed,
    an inspiring poem.

    GW62(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Andrew Vylinsky (9/25/2007 2:31:00 PM)

    Nice translation of a really brilliant poem.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Hem Raj BastolaHem Raj Bastola (5/8/2005 4:38:00 AM)

    It's a nice poem about the event of nature what is happening he seems describing the movement of candle and the tears of wax reveals that ther's wind also which is wiping out that candle. some what the poem is similar to the wind of ted hughes. the nature is fine and very soothing but the same nature some time becomes such violent and ther's no one is able to knead the nature for thsir benefit what we only can do is we can surrender in front of it. this is what teh pasternak knows I think. there'; s nio way except to surrender with almighty wuper power of nature.

    hem(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Required Griffin (2/24/2005 5:56:00 AM)

    a great great poem.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
Read all 15 comments »

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Read poems about / on: destiny, angel, snow, summer, winter, world, night



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003