Monday, April 27, 2015

Aleksey Khomyakov

Aleksey Khomyakov (1804—1860) is a Moscow poet, Orthodox theologian, philosopher and political theorist. He founded the Slavophile movement which believed Russia should not look to the West as a model for modernization. His theological writings were particularly influential on the thinking of such writers as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Vladimir Solovyov. His poetry also inspired music by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov.

He was a member of the landed gentry. After serving with distinction in the Russio-Turkish War (1828–9), he sought to improve the living conditions for serfs, and eventually advocated for the abolition of serfdom.

The following poem was translated by Dmitry Shatalov.


A timeless borderline you are
That God twixt night and day put down;
He clothed you in a scarlet gown,
He gave you a companion in the morning star.
When in the heavenly azure
You give off light and calmly fade,
I look at you and ruminate:
We are like you, the Dawn of day—
A mix of blazing flames and cold,
Of heaven and the underworld,
A blend of light and shadows grey.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.