Poems From Places: Boris Pasternak's "A Wedding"

Attention all lovers of literature! Andrew and I are working on a new poetry-based project, and we are really excited to share it with you! This video series is called Poems from Places (similar to our People from Places article series), and in each episode we will travel to a new picturesque destination to discuss and analyze an applicable poem or song. For our first video, we decided to traverse the blooming bluffs in Fairview Park to discuss Boris Pasternak's "A Wedding."

Into the enormous sky flew
a whirlwind of blue-gray patches—
a flock of doves spiraling up
suddenly from the dovecotes.

And to see them makes you wish, 
just as the wedding-feast is ending,
years of happiness for this couple,
flung onto the wind like doves.

Life too is only an instant,
only a dissolving of ourselves
into everyone,
as if we gave ourselves as gifts.

Only a wedding, only the depths
of a window and the sound rushing in,
only a song, or a dream,
only a blue-gray dove.

I won't go into much detail about Pasternak's background or the meaning of his beautiful poem here on the blog. All that information and more can be discovered in our new video! I will, however, share why we went to Fairview park to film it. 

Fairview Park is home to a serene hiking trail that swerves and tumbles through 200 acres of native Californian plant communities and wildlife. Thanks to the severity of the drought last year, this area looked like a field of dried wheat grass slowly withering under the hot sun. The water had all dried up, the animals were trying to find shelter elsewhere, and the plants were emaciated and brown. This year, however, sent Fairview park's ecosystem into an exciting 180 tail spin. The winter's gift of ample rain transformed the bluffs into a living, breathing hub for tiny critters, wildflowers, ponds and more. 

We saw this transformation as a lovely parallel for "A Wedding." Pasternak's poem speaks of finding love in times of hardship, like the wedding couple who declared union inside the bars of Stalin's Russia. It also reminisces about the hidden treasures and pleasures of a fleeting moment. While walking through the bluffs, you won't find anything extraordinary until you take time to stop, listen, and look closely. Then, under all the scattered leaves and dirt, you'll find a baby bunny, a lizard, a caterpillar, or a beautifully small desert flower. A shift in perspective can make all the difference. 

So, without further ado, check out our newest video series that mashes travel with art: Poems from Places! We would be more than happy to discuss with you in the comments, or learn about the tiny but magnificent poems that inspire you! Thanks for reading!

Thank you so much for reading, and subsequently following all of our crazy artistic endeavors. It means the world to us! We can't wait to learn more about travel, art, and history in this new video series with you all.