In Everything I Would Wish

Today, a poem by Boris Pasternak, courtesy of Lew! (I am looking forward to hearing the Russian version in March.) A poem about singular moments and the attempt to inhabit them.

In Everything I Wish


In everything I would

Get to the essence.

In work, in searching for the way,

In the heart’s discordance.


To the core of days gone by,

To their cause,

To the fundamentals, the roots,

To the heart of the matter,


All the time grasping for the thread

Of fates, of events,

To live, think, feel, and love,

To make discoveries.


Oh, if only I could,

If just in part,

I would write eight lines

On the heart of passion.


On illicit love, on sins,

On flights, pursuits,

Encounters in haste

Elbows and palms.


I would lay out its law,

its very beginnings,

And would repeat  its names



I would lay out the verse like a garden.

In it, with the pulsing of their veins,

The lindens would blossom in a row,

Single file, one after the other.


I would send into the verse the scent of roses,

Of newly mown hay,

Fields, spurge, mint,

The claps of thunder.


In this way Chopin once lay out

A living miracle

Of farms, parks, copses, and graves

In his études.


The play and the pangs

Of a triumph now won—

The tightly drawn string

Of a tautly bent bow.


One response to “In Everything I Would Wish

  1. this is reminding me of a Marge Piercy poem I love –

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