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I used to glorify the poor,
Not simply lofty views expressing:
Their lives alone, I felt, were true,
Devoid of pomp and window-dressing.

No stranger to the manor house,
Its finery and lordly tenor,
I was a friend of down-and-outs,
And shunned the idly sponging manner.

For choosing friendship in the ranks
Of working people, though no rebel,
I had the honour to be stamped
As also one among the rabble.

The state of basements, unadorned,
Of attics with no frills or curtains
Was tangible without pretence
And full of substance, weighty, certain.

And I went bad when rot defaced
Our time, and life became infested,
When grief was censured as disgrace
And all played optimists and yes-men.

My faith in those who seemed my friends
Was broken and our ties were sundered.
I, too, lost Man, the Human, since
He had been lost by all and sundry.

by Boris Pasternak

Other poems of PASTERNAK (122)

Comments (12)

He is quoted as saying: “In all my ways let me pierce through into the very essence....” I think that speaks to the why of this poem
A nice write that's so mind provoking..
i thought i knew where this poem was heading until the last two stanzas. not only was the rhyme pattern abandoned in them but also any sense that i could make of them. romanticizing any person or group is another form of the grass is always greener syndrome. people are people, but it's a challenge to see the dignity and humanity of some in contrast to some others. -gk
Foreshadowing and then experiencing the trauma of what he depicts in Dr. Zhivago, (I think) his famous novel of the communist revolution.
I don't find great substance in this poem.
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