In the last couple of weeks The Moscow Metropolitan has decided to diversify its escalator soundtrack — with poetry readings. Probably because it snowed four times in Moscow since the end of September (light flurries count!), the authorities have decided that in order to prevent a mass exodus to warmer climates they had to remind us that fall is, in fact, a wonderful, beautiful time of year. And there’s no better way to do it than with equally beautiful Russian poetry.

So, here for your enjoyment, are a couple of my favorite verses about the season,  both by Alexander Pushkin (translation borrowed, edited), and some photos of Russia’s Golden Autumn, to show you what you’re missing.

Унылая пора! очей очарованье!

Приятна мне твоя прощальная краса —

Люблю я пышное природы увяданье,

В багрец и в золото одетые леса,

В их сенях ветра шум и свежее дыханье,

И мглой волнистою покрыты небеса,

И редкий солнца луч, и первые морозы,

И отдаленные седой зимы угрозы.

A melancholy time! Enchantment of the eye!

Your beauty in its parting pleases me –

I love the lavish withering of nature,

The gold and scarlet raiment of the woods,

The crisp wind rustling o’er their threshold,

The sky engulfed by tides of rippled gloom,

And sun’s so scarce a ray,

and frosts approaching,

And gray-haired winter threatening from afar.


Октябрь уж наступил – уж роща отряхаетПоследние листы с нагих своих ветвей;

Дохнул осенний хлад – дорога промерзает.

Журча еще бежит за мельницу ручей,

Но пруд уже застыл; сосед мой поспешает

В отъезжие поля с охотою своей,

И страждут озими от бешеной забавы,

И будит лай собак уснувшие дубравы.


October has arrived – the woods are tossingTheir final leaves from now-naked branches;

A breath of autumn chill – the road begins to freeze,

Yet streams still murmur, passing by the mill;

The pond, however,’s frozen;

And now my neighbor hastens

To far-flung fields with members of his hunt.

From this mad revelry the winter wheat so suffers

And baying hounds awake the slumbering groves.


For more on the Moscow Metro (which I love with all my heart), you can check out An Ode To The Moscow Metro and Moscow Metro part 2: The Sound And The Fury.

17 thoughts on “MOSCOW METRO part 3 – POETRY SLAM

  1. I haven’t gotten to hear any poetry yet :/ Seriously, though, fall here is great, if only for two weeks. Lovely pictures!

    • It was playing when I was descending into Semyonovskaya. I am very happy we’re having this little ‘babye leto’ right now – even if it’s far from truly summery.

    • Thanks!
      In the summer, barring a weather anomaly, you are guaranteed some sort of a good time. With fall, it’s very hit or miss. Today was divine – 14C, sunny, gorgeous! The last few days not bad either. But before that, it was 2.5 weeks of non-stop rain and just above 0C. So it’s hard to plan, travel-wise. But if you do get lucky, it’s pretty gorgeous, and you can have the best time mushroom-picking, and then relaxing at the banya.

  2. Pingback: MOSCOW METRO part 4: UNDERGROUND LOVE | Home & Away

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