Letter From My Mother
What's left now to think about? What's now to write about? Before me on the gloomy table lies open a letter from my mother. 'Come to us, darling,' she writes, 'for the Christmas holidays. Buy me a shawl, trousers for Dad. So many things we're short of. I don't like it, you being a poet, you've got such a shocking name. Much better you'd followed the plough in the field from a lad. I'm old now, and sick; if only you'd been here at home, I'd have a daughter, and a grandson at my knee. But you've scattered children about the world, given your wife away to another man; you have no family or friend, you're deep in pub water with no moorings. My darling son, what's wrong with you ? You used to be so sweet, so unassuming, everyone used to say, how happy he is, Sergei Esenin. Well, our hopes in you have come to nothing. And it's all the more galling and sick to me that your father hoped you'd get more money for your poetry. Whatever you got, you never sent it home to us. That's why words fade so bitterly, - I know from your experience - people don't give poets money. I don't like it, your being a poet, you've got such a shocking name. Much better you'd followed the plough in the field from a lad. Everything's dreary now. We live in the dark. We have no horse. If you were here at home, it would be all right - with your brain you'd get to be president of the local soviet. Then we'd be jolly, no one'd drag at us, and you wouldn't have this useless tiredness. I'd make your wife spin, and you would look after us in our old age, like a son should.' . . . I crumple the letter, plunged into horror. Is there no way clear of this predestined path ? But everything I think I'll tell now in the letter I answer with.