Poetry Sunday: July

Boris Pasternak was perhaps best known for his fiction, such as Dr. Zhivago, but he was also a poet. This is one of his, a haunting and expressive poem that conjures up a picture of the "meadow-scented month July" "unkempt, untidy, absent-minded" "with summer air and thunder."

July is only "a temporary guest" and with temperatures approaching 100 every day, we can be grateful for that!  


by Boris Pasternak

A ghost is roaming through the building,
And shadows in the attic browse;
Persistently intent on mischief
A goblin roams about the house.

He gets into your way, he fusses,
You hear his footsteps overhead,
He tears the napkin off the table
And creeps in slippers to the bed.

With feet unwiped he rushes headlong
On gusts of draught into the hall
And whirls the curtain, like a dancer,
Towards the ceiling, up the wall.

Who is this silly mischief-maker,
This phantom and this double-face?
He is our guest, our summer lodger,
Who spends with us his holidays.

Our house is taken in possession
By him, while he enjoys a rest.
July, with summer air and thunder-
He is our temporary guest.

July, who scatters from his pockets
The fluff of blow-balls in a cloud,
Who enters through the open window,
Who chatters to himself aloud,

Unkempt, untidy, absent-minded,
Soaked through with smell of dill and rye,
With linden-blossom, grass and beet-leaves,
The meadow-scented month July. 


  1. Love it! And you are right, thank goodness it's temporary, though I'm craving more year-round July(s).

    1. Well, maybe July in Connecticut is more pleasant! No, actually, I'm sure it's more pleasant.

    2. Actually, I heard this morning on the radio that this July in CT was the second coldest in a 100 years.

  2. Thank you for this treat

  3. Lovely and charming. We are having a decent July this year. All the crisping from the June heat wave has returned to green. But still two months of heat to come.

    1. Our July is dry and hot, "our summer lodger, Who spends with us his holidays." All those lovely spring rains are but a distant memory.


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