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After the Interval

Boris Pasternak 1890 (Moscow) – 1960 (Peredelkino)



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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Boris Pasternak

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was a Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator. more…

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