Mapping Imagined Geographies of Revolutionary Russia

PBC0143: resolve to resist

PBC 143 highlights the grit and resolve of nationalist loyalists even when Russia had been lost to the Bolsheviks. In a fervent instance written during the pivotal year of 1919, when the Volunteer Army (the Whites) still hoped to recapture Moscow, the poet proclaims: “Draw tight the circle! Russia awaits/ Freedom from the chains” of Bolshevism (W91). Later, during the dark days at the end of the civil war, another instance alludes to the horror of civil war as stormy weather. The poet tells us, “My heart will never part from faith,/ Even in the whirl of stormy weather” (W514). At the very end of the civil war, while overtly expressing hopes for “spring” and revival, one instance covertly resists the new centralization of Russia under the Bolsheviks, noting without further comment: “on my desk where wise Pushkin stands,/ A letter postmarked ‘Moscow’” (W508). The letter from Moscow is clearly unwelcome.


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