POETRY: The Definition Of Poetry by Boris Pasternak

The Definition Of Poetry by Boris Pasternak

It’s a tightly filled whistle,
it’s the squeaking of jostled ice,
it’s night, frosting the leaves,
it’s two nightingales dueling.

It’s the soundlessness of sweetpeas,
the tears of the universe in a pod.
It’s a Figaro from music-stands and flutes
like hail on garden plots.

And all that the night finds hard to find
on the sunken floors of bathhouses
is carried to the fish pond
like a star on damp, trembling palms.

It’s a mugginess flatter than sunken boards,
alders banked over the horizon.
The laughter of the stars is welcome
in this universe—this soundless place.

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