Saturday, 18 January 2014

Pasternak Time: “Summer stops us in our tracks”


Pasternak Time: “Summer stops us in our tracks”

Summer stops us in our tracks,
The heat wave and the heat wave
City roads and gardens empty as flyleaves,
The heat wave and some reading time
Behind the louvres, in the parlour cool.
Averbakh, Troshchenko, Kirpotin, Gidash,
Party names denouncing Pasternak
‘fellow traveller’ ‘class warfare’ ‘bourgeois’
‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ ‘formalism’
Only names now in a book on Pasternak.
Their words are an entire climate
Stopping everyone in their tracks,
Oppressive and disempowering and heated,
As if the city should endure no let-up,
Empty of any vehicle for new words.
Between paragraphs our eyes take a rest.
Only in the surviving pages of Pasternak,
The supporting letters of friends of Pasternak
Does life go on behind the louvres:
Bright lines, some rewarding reading time,
Rumours of a cool change by the weekend.

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