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Замолкнул гром, шуметь гроза устала

January 20, 2010
Замолкнул гром, шуметь гроза устала,
Светлеют небеса;
Меж черных туч приветно засияла

Лазури полоса.

Еще дрожат цветы, полны водою
И пылью золотой,
О, не топчи их с новою враждою
Презрительной пятой.

1858

In Русский вестник.  Iambic 5/3, AbAb.

Very much, I think, what one imagines when one thinks of a nineteenth-century lyric poem in the abstract.  Short, regular, well-constructed, with a description of nature that works on a literal level (empathy for actual flowers) as well as a universal psychological level (the callous indifference of individual ordinary people often hurts us people/flowers when we are already reeling from the uncontrollable acts of fate/storms) or an allegorical level (where the acts of fate are not general, but particular historical/political storms of the 1850s – the post-1848 period of especially intense reaction at the end of Nikolai I’s reign, the Crimean War).  The diction remains entirely within the poetic lexicon established in the first half of the nineteenth century, with nothing innovative or archaic or exotic.

The flowers, if left alone, are ready to grow, interacting with and fertilizing one another (water and pollen).  The phrase новая вражда quietly ties together the scornful heel of the generic addressee and the already-passed storm in all its interpretations.

Unlike the Shcherbina riddle-epigram yesterday, the point of this poem comes into focus only in the last couplet, as is usual in short forms.

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