Tag Archives: russian literature

“And the poem, I think, is only your voice speaking.” ― Virginia Woolf, “The Waves” – a Guest Post by Veronica Sizova

“And the poem, I think, is only your voice speaking.”

― Virginia Woolf, “The Waves”

I was delighted when Veronica did me the honour of accepting my invitation to appear on my website, as I am a huge fan of Veronica’s writing.

Veronica Sizova

Veronica Sizova

It is a pleasure to meet you, lovely readers of K. Morris! I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Kevin. It is a great honour to be featured on the blog of such an excellent poet! His creative writing is an infinite source of inspiration and a beam of positivity in these uncertain times.

My name is Veronica Sizova, and today I am going to tell you how an eighteen-year-old girl has found her destiny in literature.

As soon as I’ve learned to read, the dream of becoming a writer encompassed my naive imagination. When I’ve opened a book of poetry for the first time, I was utterly spellbound by the power of words – the freedom of poetic expression, its infinite possibilities and irresistible charms have conquered my heart once and forever. My gloomy hometown, Yekaterinburg, an industrial city in the middle of Russia, is far from lyrical. Nevertheless, I have tried to find beauty even in its stern, wintry spirit.

The call for liberation from the confinement of an authoritarian Motherland has ignited my desire to study abroad. Two years ago, I got an incredibly lucky opportunity to attend a Canadian high school. This extraordinary experience not only enriched my cultural awareness but also inspired me to start writing in English. As unbelievable as it may sound, I have finally found my own voice – in an unfamiliar country, among people from different backgrounds.

The first poem I wrote in English was inspired by Bob Dylan’s timeless song, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Its lyrics capture the essence of tragedy with brilliant simplicity, and I was aiming to achieve a similar effect. Hopefully, this ode to the loss of a loved one will resonate with your soul.

I’m knocking on your Heaven’s Door

As restlessly, as reckless waves –

Remember – when they reached the shore –

You have succumbed to Death’s embrace.

The sun reflected in your eyes:

Its blinding, fatal afterglow –

A witness to the heart’s demise –

Took your ethereal, light soul…

This tiny door contains the world,

Replacing millions of words;

Shakespeare is writing there in gold –

The clouds are parchment, stars – the chords.

Please, let me in – the flames will rush,

Spilling themselves – my tears of love –

But there’s no lustre left so lush –

The earthly beacons aren’t enough!

I keep on calling through the mist;

Wings rustle softly with the tide,

As if an angel holds my wrist

And whispers: “Let me be your guide!”

I will stay by this Heavenly Door,

As the billions of centuries pass –

“Dearest, give me the keys,” I implore,

Still lamenting your final caress…

As the feeble thread sets us apart,

The Creator is honing his knife –

“Live or not to?” He asks every heart

While exclaiming – “How precious is life!”

I’m knocking on your Heaven’s door

For the myriads of desolate days:

No one answers me anymore,

Since you saw the oncoming waves…

Thank you for taking the time to appreciate my work – every new reader is a balm to the writer’s soul!

You can find more creative writing on my website: https://thewavesofpoetry.wordpress.com/

If you share my passion for capturing the fleeting moments, feel free to explore the Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/veronica_bloomsbury/

I hope to get in touch with you soon!

Uncle Vanya By Anton Chekhov Review

Last night I attended a production of Uncle Vanya performed by the Richmond Shakespeare Society, at the Mary Walace theatre in Twickenham. The Richmond Shakespeare Society introduces Chekhov’s play in the following manner,

 

“I always used to think cranks were ill or abnormal, until I realised that to be a crank was man’s normal condition”

Uncle Vanya is arguably the first great modernist drama, full of ambiguities and contradictions, delicately balancing the tragic and the absurd, the farcical

and the hauntingly poetic. Maxim Gorky wrote that “its ideas are huge, symbolic and its form original, incomparable”. Certainly its themes, particularly

the passing of time and the process of ageing, are universal. Trapped in the claustrophobic depths of rural Russia, Chekhov’s assortment of all-too-human

characters drive each other mad, as the arrival of two outsiders forces the incumbents to re-examine the choices they have made. Old wounds are reopened,

passions awakened, thwarted ambitions bubble to the surface and lives are turned upside down. Our adaptation is by Oscar-winning playwright Christopher

Hampton, who has said, “Uncle Vanya doesn’t have a suicide, like The Seagull, or an adulterous couple and a duel like Three Sisters. All it has is a series

of ludicrously bungled attempts at murder and suicide and adultery. Perhaps these failures are what makes it feel the saddest and most truthful” of Chekhov’s

great tragi-comic masterpieces”. (http://www.richmondshakespeare.org.uk/).

The production left me feeling a deep sense of sadness at the futility of the characters lives which is, no doubt precisely what Chekhov intended. Uncle Vanya who is, in essence a kindly man has become cynical and depressed due to his long residence on a provincial country estate in 19th century Russia. Vanya’s love for the professor’s young wife is not reciprocated and Vanya cuts a half comic, half pathetic figure in his fruitless pursuit of her.

The Professor spends much of the day in bed malingering and much of the rest working on books about art which, as Vanya notes no one will read. His young wife flutters like a trapped bird wishing to escape her cage but, as with the Professor’s daughter fears to break away and, ultimately remains imprisoned. The Professor’s daughter is infatuated and, possibly in love with the provincial doctor but her feelings are not returned, the Doctor being attracted to the Professor’s beautiful young wife who, as noted earlier can not break out of her cage.

In Uncle Vanya one witnesses the death of idealism. The Doctor speaks passionately about planting forests which in centuries to come will give joy to the people, however his love (perhaps better described as lust) for the Professor’s wife causes him to abandon his forestry projects leaving the young trees to be damaged by the animals of the peasantry.

Matters come to a head when the Professor tries to persuade Vanya who has been managing the estate on his behalf to sell it. Vanya makes an unsuccessful attempt to shoot the Professor who leaves with his wife followed, shortly after by the Doctor who’s attempts to draw the Professor’s wife into adultery have failed.

The household returns to “normality” with Vanya and it’s other members waiting for the release which death will in time bring.

 

In order to attend productions at the Mary Walace it is necessary to be a member of The Richmond Shakespeare Society although members can purchase tickets on behalf of non-members. My thanks goes to Emily, my friend Brian’s partner, for bringing my attention to this production and inviting me along). Bleak and profoundly sad and brilliantly performed.