Excerpt from the poem February

By Eduard Bagritskii

Here I am again on this land.
I walk under the young plane trees,
Again children run around under Park Benches,
Again the Sea lies in the Steamers haze…

Volunteer, my shoulder straps
Decorated with multi-colored cord;
That’s me – the Warrior, the Hero of Stokhad,
The Knight of the Mazurain Swamps,
Hobbling in blistered jack boots,
with a service cap cocked on the back of my head…

On furlough I came Home to take in with every muscle.
to feel with every tiny cell the tremor
of wind enmeshed in leaves,
the pigeon warmth of breath
of suntanned boys, the play of spots
On the sand the salty tenderness of the sea…

Now I’m used to everything: from where
I escaped these things: seemed trivial to me-
The world charred by a mortar bullet,
Pierced by a Bayonet tightly wound
With barbed wire the pungent stench
of sweat and rancid bread…

In this world I must find a place, a corner
where a fresh towel on a hook has the scent of Mother,
where a shard of soap is aside the tap,
and the sun passing through the window
Doesn’t burn your face like coal

Source and copyright: unknown.

Eduard Bagritskii

Eduard Bagritskii (1895-1934), was a major Russian-Jewish poet. Read more…

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