Boris Pasternak

Sometime at a concert hall, in recollection...

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Sometime at a concert hall, in recollection,
A Brahms intermezzo will wound me-I'll start,
Remember that summer, the flowerbed garden,
The walks and the bathing, the tryst of six hearts,

The awkward, shy artist, with steep, dreamlike forehead,
Her smile, into which one would dive for a while,
A smile, as good-natured and bright as a river,
Her artist's appearance, her forehead, her smile.

They'll play me some Brahms-I will shudder, surrender,
And in retrospection the sounds will evoke
That faraway summer, the hoard of provisions,
My son and my brother, the garden, the oak.

The artist would stuff in her overall pockets
Her pencils, and objects with fanciful names,
Or would, inadvertently dropping her palette,
Turn much of the grass into colourful stains.

They'll play me some Brahms-I'll surrender, remember
The stubborn dry brushwood, the entrance, the roof,
Her smile and appearance, the mouth and the eyebrows,
The darkened verandah, the steps and the rooms.

And suddenly, as in a fairytale sequence,
The family, neighbours and friends will appear,
And-memories crowding-I'll drown in my weeping
Before I have time to have shed all my tears.

And, circling around in a swift intermezzo-
Embracing the song like a treetrunk at noon,
Four families' shadows will turn on the meadow
To Brahms's compelling and childhood-clear tune

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Boris Pasternak