Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Poetry - Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

Pushkin is the most famous Russian poet of the 19th century. Probably best known these days for his verse novel, Eugene Onegin, he also wrote short stories as well as some of the most beautiful poetry I've ever read. Pushkin's family had been members of the Russian nobility for centuries but his maternal grandfather was an Ethopian chieftain who entered Peter the Great's service. He began writing & publishing poetry when he was 15 & he led the precarious life of a writer, often in debt & subject to the whims of popular taste. He was killed in a duel at the age of 37.

This poem, K***, is such a beautiful portrait of tender love, discovered, lost & found again.

That wondrous instant of our meeting - 
my mind's eye sees you standing there,
a vision transient and fleeting,
true beauty's spirit, pure and rare.

In toils of hopeless grief confounded,
amid life's noise and stress it seems
for long that tender voice resounded
and those sweet features came in dreams.

Years passed; the storms that life engenders
dispersed my former hopes of grace
and I forgot those accents tender,
the heavenly beauty of your face.

And in my dark incarceration
my days passed like the clouds above,
bereft alike of inspiration,
of tears, of life itself, of love.

My soul awoke to new existence,
again you stood before me there,
a vision lasting but an instant,
true beauty's spirit, pure and rare.

My heart relives the old sensation
and once m,ore steal down from above,
God's benediction, inspiration,
and tears, and life itself, and love.


  1. I recently found a bio of Pushkin and it talks about the dual. How many people die in a dual!, The book wasnlying in an op shop. Such beautiful poetry. Hope you have a relaxing Sunday. Pouring with rain and chilly in Tassie today.

    1. It's been cold & wet here as well, Pam, but the sun is almost out so I may go for a walk later. Or I may just make another cup of tea! Yes, duels were such a waste of life, like any violent act. Imagine what Pushkin could have written if he'd lived?