‘February’ by Boris Pasternak translated by Sasha Dugdale

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