That corn-fed, husky milkmaid

Peasant Women Dancing by a Lake Aksell GallenKallela

Aksell GallenKallela     Peasant Women Dancing by a Lake


Here’s a poem by Boris Pasternak




“The sun is hotter than the top ledge in a steam bath;

The ravine, crazed, is rampaging below.

Spring — that corn-fed, husky milkmaid —

Is busy at her chores with never a letup.


The snow is wasting (pernicious anemia —

See those branching veinlets of impotent blue?)

Yet in the cowbarn life is burbling, steaming,

And the tines of pitchforks simply glow with health.


These days — these days, and these nights also!

With eavesdrop thrumming its tattoos at noon,

With icicles (cachectic!) hanging on to gables,

And with the chattering of rills that never sleep!


All doors are flung open — in stable and in cowbarn;

Pigeons peck at oats fallen in the snow;

And the culprit of all this and its life-begetter–

The pile of manure — is pungent with ozone.”


–   Boris Pasternak, March





Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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