OxBlog

Sunday, November 12, 2006

# Posted 7:25 AM by Patrick Porter  

RUSSIAN POET Konstantin Simonov wrote this poem in 1941, and because it hasn't become overly familiar in the Anglosphere through hundreds of war poetry anthologies, its my favourite war poem. And not bad for Remembrance Day:
Wait for me, and I'll return
Only wait very hard
Wait when you are filled with sorrow
Wait in the sweltering heat
Wait when the others have stopped waiting,
Forgetting their yesterdays.
Wait even when from afar no letters come to you
Wait even when others are tired of waiting...
And when friends sit around the fire,
Drinking to my memory,
Wait, and do not hurry to drink to my memory too.
Wait. For I'll return, defying every death.
And let those who do not wait say that I was lucky.
They will never understand that in the midst of death,
You with you waiting saved me.
Only you and I know how I survived.
It's because you waited, as no one else did.
(8) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
It's not very good, but that's to be expected of a poem recommended by someone because of its lack of familiarity.
 
Brilliant! A bit ego-charged, but you have to respect a proud soldier.
 
anon, hit me again with wet lettuce
 
This is unrelated, but when will the second part of the Hitchens interview be posted? Thanks
 
hey anon,

We will post it up hopefully over the next few weeks. Sorry about the delay.

cheers,

Patrick
 
A not-so-good English translation, perhaps?..In my home country of vietnam, it was translated beautifully into vietnamese a long time ago by a famous poet, and became very popular...it was even set to music...(the poem obviously struck a chord in a war-torn country like Vietnam).. I don't see anything ego-charged in the poem -- the parting words of a soldier to his lover, saying that her waiting would keep him alive..I find it moving instead...
 
Mums da woid, Mims. This is'nt a proud soldier, it's a scared lonely human reaching for that connection to normalcy in the midst of madness. All you need is love. Anon 1, some stuff looses in translation, but your reaction is one of thick-skinned insensitivity.
May we all grow
 
I don't see fear in the poem.
 
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