Wednesday, August 08, 2007

leaving petrograd that september

a found poem

Anyone looking for a portent
might have noticed a ship
leaving Petrograd
that September

Carrying into exile
whose ideas
the regime found

The names involved are unfamiliar

The idealist philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev
The literary critic Yuli Aikhenvald
The religious thinker Semyon Frank
The sociologist Pitirim Sorokin
The medieval historian Lev Karsavin

The secret police officers
monitoring the launch
raised their hats in salute
as it left the harbor
We are all Russians.
Why is this happening?

In an interview
Trotsky carefully explained
the expulsions
were an act of mercy

Found in William Grimes' NYTimes review of Lesley Chamberlain's new book Lenin's Private War: The Voyage of the Philosophy Steamer and the Exile of the Intelligentsia

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails