#440371

Anonymous

I’ve been of late doing extensive reading about WW2 in the Soviet Union. I came across this poem I like.

“Wait for me..”

“Wait for me” is one of the best-known of all Russian poems. It was written by Konstantin Simonov in 1941, soon after Hitler’s invasion of Russia. In the summer of 1941, Simonov was 25 and (despite his aristocratic origins) already an increasingly successful Soviet poet and playwright. He was passionately in love with the young actress Valentina Serova. When Hitler struck, Simonov received immediate orders to proceed to the front as a war correspondent. Valentina saw him off at the station…

The troop train took him westward – towards, as he thought, the frontier. But by that time the German blitzkrieg had actually penetrated far into Russia and the train never reached its destination. Within hours, Simonov was exposed to the brutal and chaotic realities of war: Valentina must have seemed a very long way away. .

His subsequent poems will continue the story of a young man simultaneously exposed to all the dangers of war, of a passionate love-affair – and of sudden and dramatic national celebrity.

to Valentina Serova

Wait for me, and I’ll come back!
Wait with all you’ve got!
Wait, when dreary yellow rains
Tell you, you should not.
Wait when snow is falling fast,
Wait when summer’s hot,
Wait when yesterdays are past,
Others are forgot.
Wait, when from that far-off place,
Letters don’t arrive.
Wait, when those with whom you wait 
Doubt if I’m alive.

Wait for me, and I’ll come back!
Wait in patience yet
When they tell you off by heart
That you should forget.
Even when my dearest ones
Say that I am lost,
Even when my friends give up,
Sit and count the cost,
Drink a glass of bitter wine
To the fallen friend –
Wait! And do not drink with them!
Wait until the end!

Wait for me and I’ll come back, 
Dodging every fate! 
“What a bit of luck!” they’ll say, 
Those that would not  wait. 
They will never understand 
How amidst the strife, 
By your waiting for me, dear, 
You had saved my life. 
Only you and I will know 
How you got me through. 
Simply – you knew how to wait – 
No one else but you.

1941

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