Treasure Island

Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

‘My sister – Life’s overflowing today’


My sister – Life’s overflowing today,
spring rain shattering itself like glass,
but people with monocles still complain,
and sting, politely, like snakes in the grass.

The elders have their logic of course,
certainly yours is foolish, no doubt:
that eyes and lawns glow lilac in storms,
and sweet perfume blows from the south.

That in May, when traveling you see
the timetable on the Kamyshin line,
the Bible’s penned no less magnificently,
while in reading it you’re mesmerised.

That sunset has only to show a village,
girls crowding the track as we flee,
and I find that it’s not my stop today,
the sun offering its sympathy.

With three splashes the bell swims by,
‘Sorry, not here’: its apology’s far.
Burning night seeps under the blind,
the steppe plunges, from step to star.

Winking, blinking, sweetly somewhere,
my love, a fata-morgana, sleeps yet,
while, like my heart, splashed on platforms there,
the carriage throws window-light over the steppe.

Submitted: Saturday, April 03, 2010

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