Poetry of Konstantine Mikhailovich Simonov

Konstantine Mikhailovich Simonov was a correspondent for the army publication Red Star, a position he assumed for fulfill his military duty. His dispatches were read by a wide audience and were popular throughout the war. His most famous poem, “Wait for Me,” is said to have been written for his wife, the Soviet actress, Valentina Serova. In a second poem, “Comrade in Arms,” Simonov refers to how wartime changes our emotions of friendship as they turn from previous relationships to those shared by comrades in the field. The last poem, “If God in his Almighty Power,” was written when Simonov looked death in the face as Odessa was under siege. He responded with total acceptance of what was to happen.

 

 


Wait for Me

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.


Comrades in Arms

They are not those with whom I started
And learned my letters, in my place,
Nor those with whom I shaved moustaches
Still scarcely noticed on the face.

We have not drunk our tea together,
Divided bread in equal shares.
Quite unaware of my existence,
They go about their own affairs.

And yet the time will come when fortune
Will bring us side by side in war.


If God in His Almighty Power

Even death, if that could be,
I should not leave behind below.
All that is here our lot on earth
I'd choose to take with me - and so

God, in astonishment, would curse
The worldly loyalties of men,
And very soon, without a doubt,
Would put me back on earth again.