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The Muzhik

In brambles, deep in huge marshes, / near a tin river, / in shaggy log cabins, dark, dark, / there are strange muzhiks.* / / Sometimes one comes out, there where no roads go / where feather-grass* scatters, / and he listens to Stribog* scream, and / he senses an old story, a true st...

The Winged Victory of Samothrace

In my night-time fever / I see you, O / Winged Victory of Samothrace, / reaching out your arms. / / First night-silence runs / from you, then your blind / inexorable driving flight / brings giddiness, whirling sick. / / Your crazy-bright eyes / laugh, and blaze, / and our s...

Consolation

From the grave / you hear wonderful bells, / you smell / the whitest lilies. / / From the grave / you sec God’s light / and the glowing flight / of seraphim’s wings. / / You’re dying, yes, / your lovely hands are cold, / you don’t believe, you don&rs...

The Lost Tram

A strange street, then crows / croaking, then the sound of a lute / and thunder crawling slow / from a distance - then a tram at my feet / / And I leaped, somehow, and the railing / held, and I stood, dazed, / stupidly watching a trail / of fire streaking like sunrays. / / Rush...

The Word

Then, when God bent His face / over the shining new world, then / they stopped the sun with a word, / a word burned cities to the ground. / / When a word floated across the sky / like a rose-colored flame / eagles closed their wings, frightened / stars shrank against the moon. / ...

The Master Artists Prayer

I remember an ancient artists’ prayer: / Keep us, Lord, from students / / Who push our wretched genius / toward the blasphemy of new revelations. / / Honest and open enemies we can deal with, / but this kind hangs in our footsteps / / And smiles, and laughs, as we fight - ...