Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

After the Interval Poem by Boris Pasternak


About three months ago, when first
Upon our open, unprotected
And freezing garden snowstorms burst
In sudden fury, I reflected

That I would shut myself away
And in seclusion write a section
Of winter poems, day by day,
To supplement my spring collection.

But nonsense piled up mountain-high,
Like snow-drifts hindering and stifling
And half the winter had gone by,
Against all hopes, in petty trifling.

I understood, alas, too late
Why winter-while the snow was falling,
Piercing the darkness with its flakes-
From outside at my house was calling;

And while with numb white-frozen lips
It whispered, urging me to hurry,
I sharpened pencils, played with clips,
Made feeble jokes and did not worry.

While at my desk I dawdled on
By lamp-light on an early morning,
The winter had appeared and gone-
A wasted and unheeded warning.

Submitted: Saturday, April 03, 2010

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