Across that dreadful height careens a falling star,
But do stars blaze like that, expiring?
Transparent star, stray and vagrant fire,
Petropolis your brother’s dying.

Upon that dreadful height our-earth dreams are in flames,
The green star glimmers and goes flying.
O star, if you are brother to water and to sky
Your brother Petersburg is dying.

A monstrous ship afloat upon that dreadful height
Bears on, with wings outstretched and flying.
Green and lucent star, in dazzling beggary
Your brother Petrograd is dying.

Transparent spring above the black Nevá is cracked,
Life’s wax dissolving, liquefying.
Green star, if that is you—your city, Peter’s town,
Petropolis your brother’s dying.

This Issue

March 9, 1978