The house of Boris Pasternak

I hear your voice held inside the wind.

The chant hollow, empty as the Steppes.

Love veiled  in eternity, ancestry revealed

as starry-eyed we see into the past.

You whisper of needs unfulfilled;

appetites beyond the ken of mortal sight;

and anger at lives lost.


Behind this bitter song the sweetest melody

is carried by the leafless silver birch.

A balalaika croons the old refrain;

rippling chords vibrate against my heart;

and a chestnut’s fallen leaves

chatter like a child again.

‘Come back to me, come back my darling boy’.

You urge my step to pierce the darkling veil.

And yet within your dulcet tone,
resounds a prayer older than creation.

That you might leave behind the vale of shadows

© franciman 2023
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This is wonderfully atmospheric, sometimes we catch glimpses of the yesteryears or things we lost simply by walking old rooms or trailing a hand on something that was part someone’s past. Really got me thinking. Thanks Keith


This is such a beautiful image filled poem, an absolute pleasure to read. Sue.


I confess that I don’t know much about Pasternak and Peredelkino but it was lucky for me that I was familiar with Doctor Zhivago and could see the connection with your poem, brilliantly written as usual.
Best, Luigi.

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