It's Sunday. It's very windy outside, there's a blizzard. I'm reading a book I borrowed from the library - "The Giant Split" by Mordovtsev. It's about Patriarch Nikon, protopope Avvakum and the reign of Alexei Mikhailovich. The Tsars used to be of such cruel disposition, and the people were so naive and superstitious.
Solitude is indeed a good thing. Sometimes it is necessary, and it has come to me just at the right time to allow me to think about everything that has happened to me in the past few months. See more
But if only I could see the sun, the fields, if only I was able to be alone somewhere other than in a prison cell behind a locked door. A forced solitude can be torturous to anyone, and insufferable for many. I wasn't even allowed to go for a walk yesterday. I don't know why. Maybe because I was offered a trip to the bathhouse, or, maybe, they just forgot. The bathhouse was not bad, but very dirty and poorly kept.
Your fabulous enunciation,
Like whistling of a bird of prey,
Creates a true representation
Of silken eyelids, I dare say. See more
"What" -- and the head has fallen
"Why" -- I am asking you
And far away the leaves are calling:
We live upon this planet too.
So let them say that love is flighty -
Flightier hundred times is death.
The soul is striving still and mighty,
Our lips fly toward it with each breath.
And in your whisper, so much silk,
And so much air, and so much light,
That as if blinded we both drink
The sunless brew of windy night.
Mandelstam often visited me, and we rode in a cab on the incredible bumps of the revolutionary winter among the famous fires that burned almost until May, listening to a rifle rumbling from an unknown place. So we went to the Academy of Arts, where were evenings in favor of the wounded and where we both performed several times.
Today is a day of great significance for me: having been summoned to see Sir Green at the embassy I received a message from him that will determine my immediate future. See more
I have been commissioned by His Majesty the King of Great Britain to serve, together with two of my comrades, on the Mesopotamian Front. What exactly I will be doing there I am not sure. I am told this will become clear on arrival to the headquarters of the Mesopotamian Army, which I shall travel to by way of Shanghai, Singapore, Colombo and Bombay.
Trotsky has addressed a message to the people and Governments of all Allied countries. The Russian Revolution has, he declares, opened the door for an immediate general peace, and if only the Allied Governments will avail themselves of the present favourable opportunity, general negotiations may be commenced at once. See more
If, on the other hand, they refuse to participate in the negotiations, the labouring classes in their respective countries must rise against those who refuse to give the people peace. He concluded by promising the former his full support.
The Russian revolution has an anti-nationalistic character, and it has turned Russia into a bloodless corpse. Yet despite this anti-nationalistic character, the peculiarities of our nation, the “Russian style”, have significantly determined the course of this unhappy and destructive revolution. See more
Our ancient national flaws and sins have not only led to this revolution but have also shaped its character. The ghosts of the Russian revolution are Russian ghosts, despite the way they have been turned against us by our enemy. Its spirituality is a Russian spirituality. Its mania is that which often grips the Russian people.
I have many friends and acquaintances in Kislovodsk, and we were constantly gathering together in someone’s place for tea, dinner or to play cards, to calm our souls a little bit. To be alone is painful in such troubling times. See more
To all this, the local authorities from time to time declare a sort of siege state, which is reduced mainly to the prohibition to go out after 9 p.m. until the sunrise. Willy-nilly, we stay with friends until the morning, in order not to disperse too early.