First Meetings

July 22, 2007 at 1:23 pm 7 comments

by Arseny Tarkovsky

We made each moment of our trysts
A sacred epiphany.
We were alone in all the world.
Like a feather, but bolder,
You tripped down the staircase, leading
Me dizzy through the lilac
To your estates, through the mirror.


When night came I received a gift;
The altar gates did open,
And in dark, slowly aglow,
Your nakedness arched upwards.
And on awakening? “Be thou blessed”
I said, aware that my blessing
Was impertinent. While you slept,
From its stand the lilac stretched
To touch you with its universe
Of blue; and your eyelids touched,
Became calm, and your hand was warm.

Rivers pulsed within the crystal,
Mountains loomed and rivers roared.
And in your palm you held the orb
Of glass, and slept on a throne
And — God’s my witness — you were mine!

You awoke, and made such changes
To man’s common turn of phrase;
Speech gained such harmonious force
As throats allow, the word ‘thou’
Acquired the new meaning: ‘King.’

Everything on earth was touched.
Even simple things — bowls, jugs —
When hard strata of water
Stood between us, as on guard.

we were taken who knows where:
Cities built by miracles
Would melt like mirages,
Mint was crushed beneath our feet
And birds accompanied us,
And fish leaped in the river,
The skies parted as we watched . . . .

When fate followed our footsteps
Like a madman with a knife.


I saw Andrei Tarkovsky‘s Зеркало (Mirror or A White, White Day) yesterday for the second time. The first poem recited is this one, written by the director’s father. It kept coming back to me along with the visuals of the film. I hope the Evergreen Readers liked it.


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Entry filed under: cinema, literature, Poetry, Tarkovsky. Tags: .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. balkan  |  July 22, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Yes, I like this poem, and for me Andrei Tarkovsky is among best directors if not the best Russian director!

    Reply: Cheers to that! 🙂
    Ritwik

    Reply
  • 2. Janice Thomson  |  July 22, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Tarkovsky once said: “For me man is above all a spiritual being, and life’s purpose is in the development of this. If man is unable to do this, the society degenerates.”
    For this reason alone the man would have my utmost respect and admiration aside from the fact he was one of the greatest directors ever.
    His father’s poem has an underlying mystical nature and leaves one quite breathless.

    Reply: Yes, I can recall this statement of Tarkovsky. I am a wholehearted devotee of his films. But more than that, as you put it across with the quotation, his honest endeavours to bring out beauty in art commands immense respect.
    Ritwik

    Reply
  • 3. harmonie22  |  July 23, 2007 at 12:44 am

    This Evergreen reader loved it 🙂
    Never heard of Tarkovsky before- thanks for the Russian art culture exposure.

    Reply: Harmonie, the little that I have come to know about you through your blog and your comments, I think you will enjoy Tarkovsky’s cinema a lot. Mirror, the film where this poem has been recited, is one of his most abstract works. My suggestion is that you should definitely watch Ivanovo Detstvo (Ivan’s Childhood), which was his first film after graduation from VGK.
    Ritwik

    Reply
  • 4. harmonie22  |  July 24, 2007 at 9:55 am

    I will try to get my hands on a copy. Thanks.

    Reply
  • 5. S. Khan  |  July 25, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Once again very good. You are a very good poet.

    Reply
  • 6. S. Khan  |  July 25, 2007 at 6:26 am

    I forgot to add that you also have an eye for good poetry. I enjoyed this one very much even though it wasn’t your work.

    Reply: Thank you Khan. Your comments are kind and encouraging. 🙂
    Ritwik

    Reply
  • 7. enreal  |  July 29, 2007 at 3:08 am

    This was beautiful, it made my minds eye sing and my heart beat still…beautiful. Thank you

    Reply: You’re always welcome Enreal !! 🙂
    Ritwik

    Reply

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