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Sergei Esenin's poem "Reaped Fields"

by John Cobley

Thursday Jan 18th, 2024




Following a common practice in Russian poetry, this poem has no title. I have added my own.


Reaped Fields


Reaped cornfields, bare woods,

Mist and damp from the waters.

Like a wheel, the silent moon

Rolls down behind the blue hills.


The churned-up road slumbers.

Today it notices

That little by little

Grey winter is on its way.


Yesterday in the resonant copse

I saw through the mist

A chestnut moon harnessed, 

like a colt, to our sleigh.






Sergei Esenin (1895-1925) is still, one hundred years after his death, a popular poet in Russia. When he was young, he wrote poems about village life. At 28 he married the celebrated American dancer Isadora Duncan. Always unstable, Esenin hanged himself two years later, leaving behind a farewell poem written in his own blood: “ Goodbye, my friend, goodbye.”





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