February. Get out the ink and weep!
Sob in February, sob and sing
While the wet snow rumbles in the street
And burns with the black spring.
Take a cab. For a coin
Be carried through church bells, the chirp of tyres
To a place where the torrential rain
Is louder still than ink or tears
Where, like charred pears
A thousand rooks break from the bough
Fall to puddles, cast their parched cares
Into eyes of melted snow.
There gaps open black in the snow’s expanse
And the crow-pocked wind throbs
And the surest poems come by chance
Wrought from sobs.
(read February by Boris Pasternak in Russian here)
Sasha Dugdale is a poet and translator of poetry and plays. Her third collection Red House is published by Carcanet. She is editor of Modern Poetry in Translation