Treasure Island

Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

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Winter Night


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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Ravi 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

  • 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

  • Hem 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

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