Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

Winter Sky


Ice-chips plucked whole from the smoke,

the past week’s stars all frozen in flight,

Head over heels the skater’s club goes,

clinking its rink with the peal of night.


Step slow, slower, slow-er, skater,

pride carving its trace as you race by.

each turn’s a constellation cut there,

scratched by a skate in Norway’s sky.


The air is fettered in frozen iron.

Oh, skaters! There – it’s all the same,

that, like snake’s eyes set in ivory,

night’s on earth, a domino game:


that moon, a numb hound’s tongue

is there, frozen tight: that mouths like

the forgers of coins’ – are stung,

filled with lava of breathtaking ice.

Submitted: Saturday, April 03, 2010

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