Boris Pasternak

POETRY: Like A Brazier’s Bronze Cinders by Boris Pasternak

March 23, 2018

Like a brazier’s bronze cinders, the sleepy garden’s beetles flowing. Level with me, and my candle, a flowering world is hanging. As if into unprecedented faith, I cross into this night, where the poplar’s beaten grey veils the moon’s rim from sight. Where the pond’s an open secret, where apple-trees whisper of waves, where the garden hanging on piles, holds the sky before its [...]

POETRY: March by Boris Pasternak

March 16, 2018

The sun is hotter than the top ledge in a steam bath; The ravine, crazed, is rampaging below. Spring—that corn-fed, husky milkmaid— Is busy at her chores with never a letup. The snow is wasting (pernicious anemia— See those branching veinlets of impotent blue?) Yet in the cowbarn life is burbling, steaming, And the tines of pitchforks simply glow with health. These days—these days, and these nights also! With eavesdrop thrumming its tattoos at noon, With icicles (cachectic!) hanging on to gables, And with the chattering of rills that never sleep! All doors are flung open—in stable and in cowbarn; Pigeons peck at oats fallen in the snow; And the culprit of all this and its life-begetter— The pile of manure—is pungent with [...]

POETRY: The Definition Of Art by Boris Pasternak

March 9, 2018

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 [...]

POETRY: Diseases Of Earth by Boris Pasternak

March 2, 2018

More! When laughter erupts with mother of pearl, bacterial tides, wet rumblings and staphylococcus clouds, knives will flash like lightning. Then—enough! Immovable titans will choke in the black vaults of day. Then tetanus will retrieve the shadows, and snakes go into torpor. The flood is here! Glitter of watery fear, wind, shards of vicious spitting. Where? From clouds, from fields, from Kliazma, or from one sardonic pine? Are these poems fermented enough to stun the thunder? It must have been delirious to consent to be the [...]

POETRY: The Definition Of Soul by Boris Pasternak

February 23, 2018

It falls like a ripe pear into the storm with a single clinging leaf. How faithful—it quits its branch— reckless—it chokes in the heat. It falls like a pear, more askew than the wind. How faithful— Look back: it thundered beautifully, bloomed, scattered—into ashes. The storm burned our country. Fledgling, will you know your nest? O my quivering goldfinch, my leaf, why do you flutter against my shy silk? Do not fear, my single clingng song. What should we strive for? O indivisible trembling—you don’t get that deadly phrase “stay [...]

POETRY: The Definition Of Poetry by Boris Pasternak

February 16, 2018

It’s a tightly filled whistle, it’s the squeaking of jostled ice, it’s night, frosting the leaves, it’s two nightingales dueling. It’s the soundlessness of sweetpeas, the tears of the universe in a pod. It’s a Figaro from music-stands and flutes like hail on garden plots. And all that the night finds hard to find on the sunken floors of bathhouses is carried to the fish pond like a star on damp, trembling palms. It’s a mugginess flatter than sunken boards, alders banked over the horizon. The laughter of the stars is welcome in this universe—this soundless [...]