Friday, April 1, 2016

What Faust is for Germany, Onegin is for Russia. Yet the two are so different! Where is the deal with the devil and perdition in the latter? Lost in the apparent sentimentalism of the story's end, which wasn't, in fact, the story's end.

Evgeny Onegin: Post duos annos 

History of Russia after 1812
Can be written as a series
Of Onegins’ revenges
Aka collective punishments
For Tatiana’s rejections.

Didn’t you know
That Rothbart is
What Onegin
Has become?

He comes and shatters,
Even though knowing
“Release only comes
Through forgiveness,”
But he cannot help it.
That fault—his heart.

Only with irony
Callous, unkind
And with the harsh
He has been intimate,
Thus clever and smart.

Rigor mortis—spirit’s fire
Began to cool and collect
As it strung its signs of death,
Still not early nor too late—
To manage and to calculate.

Still above the others
He keeps his steady climb
Of a balloon of a hot star
From Russia’s eyepits
Of souls that became blind.

By all the vulgar and the base
He exalts—refined and revived,
By all others’ non-existence
His being feels unbearably light.
For their death turns into his sight.

For it is the abysmal
That draws him back
And always excites.
Thus endlessly his vigil lasts
As does the teaser of his soul.

It is the abysmal
That he tries to arouse.
It is that shell, that void,
In which he, a crab
And squatter, hides.

A rain of April or March
May flush him one day
Out of unholy cussed impasse.
No Tatianas-turned-waifer-with-wine
Could ever deliver his Easter or mass.

The zero in zeroes,
Where the world
is caving in—
in a frozen fire of
One-begotten Onegin

Who leaves and seeks
Ever higher grounds,
Reaching for the tops
Which too the flood
Will dress and lick.

He is the swoon,
Swans-hoarding spell
That deadens the lake
Which gentle winds
Undermine beneath.

He is the thunder lost
To the light on its way,
The endless dying
Of the souls inside
Out of whom coins
Get their mint.

He comes and shatters,
Even though knowing
“Release only comes
Through forgiveness,”
But he cannot help
One fault—his heart. 

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