Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

A Conversation

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev 1818 (Oryol, Oryol Governorate) – 1883 ( Bougival, Seine-et-Oise)

'Neither the Jungfrau nor the Finsteraarhorn has yet been trodden by the foot of man!'
 
The topmost peaks of the Alps ... A whole chain of rugged precipices ...
The very heart of the mountains.
 
Over the mountain, a pale green, clear, dumb sky. Bitter, cruel frost; hard, sparkling snow; sticking out of the snow, the sullen peaks of the ice-covered, wind-swept mountains.
 
Two massive forms, two giants on the sides of the horizon, the Jungfrau and the Finsteraarhorn.
 
And the Jungfrau speaks to its neighbour: 'What canst thou tell that is new? thou canst see more. What is there down below?'
 
A few thousand years go by: one minute. And the Finsteraarhorn roars back in answer: 'Thick clouds cover the earth.... Wait a little!'
 
Thousands more years go by: one minute.
 
'Well, and now?' asks the Jungfrau.
 
'Now I see, there below all is the same. There are blue waters, black forests, grey heaps of piled-up stones. Among them are still fussing to and fro the insects, thou knowest, the bipeds that have never yet once defiled thee nor me.'
 
'Men?'
 
'Yes, men.'
 
Thousands of years go by: one minute.
 
'Well, and now?' asks the Jungfrau.
 
'There seem fewer insects to be seen,' thunders the Finsteraarhorn, 'it is clearer down below; the waters have shrunk, the forests are thinner.' Again thousands of years go by: one minute.
 
'What seeest thou?' says the Jungfrau.
 
'Close about us it seems purer,' answers the Finsteraarhorn, 'but there in the distance in the valleys are still spots, and something is moving.' 'And now?' asks the Jungfrau, after more thousands of years: one minute.
 
'Now it is well,' answers the Finsteraarhorn, 'it is clean everywhere, quite white, wherever you look ... Everywhere is our snow, unbroken snow and ice. Everything is frozen. It is well now, it is quiet.'
 
'Good,' said the Jungfrau. 'But we have gossipped enough, old fellow. It's time to slumber.'
 
'It is time, indeed.'
 
The huge mountains sleep; the green, clear sky sleeps over the region of eternal silence.
 
February 1878.
 
Font size:
 

Submitted on August 03, 2020

1:47 min read
3 Views

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (English: ; Russian: Иван Сергеевич Тургенев, tr. Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, IPA: [ɪˈvan sʲɪrˈɡʲeɪvʲɪtɕ tʊrˈɡʲenʲɪf]; November 9 [O. S. October 28] 1818 – September 3, 1883) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, translator and popularizer of Russian literature in the West. His first major publication, a short story collection entitled A Sportsman's Sketches (1852), was a milestone of Russian realism, and his novel Fathers and Sons (1862) is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction.  more…

All Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev poems | Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "A Conversation" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/55642/a-conversation>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    More poems by

    Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev

    »

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    How many syllables an Iambic Pentameter line must have?
    • A. 3
    • B. 10
    • C. 12
    • D. 20

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »