POETIC GAIN

DSC04679My private library contains practically all main books of classical  Ukrainian, Russian, English, American and German literatures. However, the other day I discovered, to my surprise, that I had no works by the Russian poet Sergey Yesenin. I think once I had a volume by Yesenin, but it might have been lost when we moved several times from one place to another. So, this morning I went to Petrivka — the biggest book market in Kyiv – to buy “something” by this author. I knew where to go: right to the second-hand books section. I spoke just to one salesman. He contacted his colleague and after a few  minutes a complete five-volume edition of Sergey Yesenin’s works (together with his prose, autobiographies and letters) was in my hands. The year of edition was 1961, the price was 75 hryvnias (about USD 6). In the 1960s you had to have pulls with bookshops or be a regional party functionary to acquire this set of volumes. Otherwise, you had to queue up for several days and nights to subscribe for such literature.

Inside one of the volumes there was a greeting card, apparently, forgotten there by a previous owner. The card was addressed to a certain Lidia Grigoriyevna (a teacher?), and the occasion was the 48th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Russia. It was quite normal in Soviet times to greet each other on political anniversaries.

I open volume two: Vagrant’s spirit! You do not so often// Stir the fire of my lips these days.// Oh, my freshness that begins to soften!// Oh my lost emotions, vehement gaze! (later I found this English translation by Alec Agapov on the Internet).

As for the greeting card, I have also kept it. I collect old greeting cards.

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