POETRY: The Definition Of Art by Boris Pasternak

The Definition Of Art by Boris Pasternak

It rips open its shirt, exposes
Beethoven’s hirsute torso, places
its palms, like checkers,
over sleep and conscience, night and love.

And with what dark longing,
wild grief and havoc,
it conjures the world’s end
on horseback over pawns on foot.

The root cellar’s ice is rife
with the oohs and aahs of stars.
Cool Tristan, full-throated, gasps,
like a nightingale over Isolde’s vine.

And gardens, and ponds, and fences,
even the white heat of creation,
are just eruptions of passion
accumulated by the human heart.

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