Verse > Anthologies > Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps. > Modern Russian Poetry
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Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps.  Modern Russian Poetry.  1921.
 
Flax
By Ivan Bunin (b. 1870)
 
SHE sits on tumulus Savoor, and stares,
Old woman Death, upon the crowded road.
Like a blue flame the small flax-flower flares
Thick through the meadows sowed.
 
And says old woman Death: “Hey, traveler!        5
Does any one want linen, linen fit
For funeral wear? A shroud, madam or sir,
I’ll take cheap coin for it!”
 
And says serene Savoor: “Don’t crow so loud!
Even the winding-sheet is dust, and cracks        10
And crumbles into earth, that from the shroud
May spring the sky-blue flax.”
 
 
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