PBC0078: alienation and grief
PBC 78 connects the emptiness of geographical space with tsarist-nationalist grief at deaths in war and revolution. This feeling is represented, for example, by the battlefields beyond the Danube River running through Central Europe and the Cossack poet’s “friend” and symbol of death, a crow (W362). It is also the steppe expanses where countless soldiers “were cut down” and where “dead bones fell in memory of the malice of the living” (W40). These images highlight the sense of existential emptiness created by the unprecedented losses in the war.