Monthly Archives: February 2023

Pic of the Day

Who am I? What am I? Just a dreamer…

Sergei Yesenin

Who am I? What am I? Just a dreamer…
By Sergei Yesenin (Sergey Esenin)

Translated by Anton Yakovlev

Who am I? What am I? Just a dreamer
Looking for a ring of happiness in the dark,
Living this life as if by happenstance,
Just like others on earth.

And I’m only kissing you out of habit,
Because I’ve kissed many,
And speaking words of love
As though I’m lighting matches.

“Dear”, “darling”, “forever”,
But always one thing on my mind:
If you wake up the passion in a person,
You surely won’t find truth.

This is why my soul has no trouble
Desiring, demanding fire —
You, my walking birch,
Were created for many and for me.

But, always looking for the one
And languishing in callous captivity,
I’m not at all jealous of you,
Not cursing you in the least.

Who am I? What am I? Just a dreamer
Who has lost the blue of his eyes in the dark,
And I only love you by happenstance,
Just like others on earth.

Сергей Есенин Кто я? Что я? Только лишь мечтатель…

Кто я? Что я? Только лишь мечтатель,
Перстень счастья ищущий во мгле,
Эту жизнь живу я словно кстати,
Заодно с другими на земле.

И с тобой целуюсь по привычке,
Потому что многих целовал,
И, как будто зажигая спички,
Говорю любовные слова.

«Дорогая», «милая», «навеки»,
А в уме всегда одно и то ж,
Если тронуть страсти в человеке,
То, конечно, правды не найдешь.

Оттого душе моей не жестко
Ни желать, ни требовать огня,
Ты, моя ходячая березка,
Создана для многих и меня.

Но, всегда ища себе родную
И томясь в неласковом плену,
Я тебя нисколько не ревную,
Я тебя нисколько не кляну.

Кто я? Что я? Только лишь мечтатель,
Синь очей утративший во мгле,
И тебя любил я только кстати,
Заодно с другими на земле.

Sergei Yesenin (1895-1925) grew up in a peasant family in the village of Konstantinovo, Ryazan Province but spent most of his adult life in Petrograd (previously St. Petersburg, later Leningrad, now St. Petersburg again). Yesenin called himself “the last poet of the village,” both in the sense of his peasant origins and of being the last among his contemporaries whose poems were mainly concerned with country life. In writing, sometimes nostalgically, always sympathetically, and often with an almost mystical devotion to rural Russia, Yesenin succeeded in cultivating a national identity and mythology so strong and cohesive that his work would forever imprint itself into Russian culture, with the poet becoming a beloved and somewhat mythical figure — a fame that persisted even under Stalin when the poet’s work was blacklisted and when praising or even reading it constituted a risk to one’s very survival. A founding member of the short-lived but influential Imaginist movement (related to the Western Imagism and standing in contrast to Futurism), Yesenin was a star whose public performances were attended by hundreds or thousands of adoring fans across the country. He jousted with fellow poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and was known for publicity stunts. His iconic status continues to this day; it is virtually impossible to find a Russian person who has never heard Sergei Yesenin’s name, and only marginally easier to find someone who doesn’t know at least one of his poems by heart though I suspect many people in the United States have never heard of him. 

Yesenin (left) with Anatoly Marienhof in 1915

Despite being married to four different women, most notably Isadora Duncan (with whom he shared no common language), Yesenin, loved men. His poetry was loved for its simplicity and clarity, bridging both high and low culture, including his poems of love to the various men in his life. During WWI, he had a relationship with the poet Leonid Kannegisser (later the assassin of Moisei Uritsky of the secret police), while during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, gay writers continued writing, but gay-positive work was not encouraged under the Soviet regime (after 1933, when Stalin recriminalized homosexuality, no gay-themed works were published.) By the mid-1920s, Sergei entered into a three-year relationship with another fellow poet Anatoly Marienhof, to whom many poems are dedicated, inspired by, or written about. Sergei was a rebellious writer, suffering through bouts of alcoholism, violent behavior, depression, and plagued by his inner demons when he hung himself in a Leningrad hotel at the age of 30. Perhaps it was his failed marriages, the disillusionment that he must have felt when the revolution that he supported failed to live up to his expectations, or that he was a gay man who had simply yielded to the pressures of the world and no longer wanted to fight. Whatever his reasons, we will never know.

In the poem above, I think he is questioning his sexuality or maybe coming to terms with it since this poem was written in 1925, the year he died. When he writes, “And I’m only kissing you out of habit,” I suspect he is talking about one of his wives. He later writes, “But always one thing on my mind: / If you wake up the passion in a person, / You surely won’t find truth.” Here he seems to be saying that if she awakens his sexuality/passion, then she won’t see the truth of his homosexuality. To me, this is a sad poem. In the fifth stanza, he says he writes that he is “always looking for the one,” but he is “in callous captivity” of a world that does not accept a person being gay. The last stanza seems to be saying that he “has lost the blue of his eyes in the dark,” and maybe that is a foretelling of his suicide in the same year.

Pic of the Day

I Hate Mondays

If I didn’t have a class today, I’d basically either stay in bed or on the couch. I did not want to get out of bed this morning. I feel like crap. I’ve been taking a medicine for a minor infection that I had, and it has made me feel awful. I didn’t want to do anything all weekend nor did I have the energy. I pretty much didn’t do anything but napped and watched television. We had a very cold weekend here in Vermont, which didn’t help motivate me to do anything. Hopefully, if I don’t feel better, I can leave work after my class today.

Pic of the Day


“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

—Galatians 5:13

The United States is supposed to be the “land of the free,” yet that is in jeopardy as long as conservative politicians pander to right-wing extremism. They want to deny LGBTQ+ people our freedoms, whether it is making drag shows illegal if children are present, banning LGBTQ+ books in libraries to keep them away from kids, or making it illegal for teachers to discuss LGBTQ+ issues in the classroom. They know that the younger generations tend to be more socially liberal and more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community because they have seen us as “normal” people. We are the same as them, we just love or have an attraction to someone of the same sex, or we are at odds with our biological sex. 

In John 8:32, Jesus says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In that verse, Jesus is talking about being a follower of His, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32) Jesus’s teachings were about love and acceptance. If the truth (reality) of the world is hidden, then we are prejudicing people against those who are different and hiding any differing point of view. It is by telling the truth and teaching children to be honest and loving that we can truly make the United States the “Land of the Free.”

The USA has never been a “land of the free.” It began as a country that allowed slavery, then when slavery was abolished, new forms of slavery were created: sharecropping and Jim Crow laws. LGBTQ+ individuals were always in bondage because they were prevented from living their truth openly and honestly for fear of imprisonment, being committed to a mental institution, or in some areas, death. We are still fighting for our freedom. Coretta Scott King said, “Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.” If conservatives and hate groups get their way, not only will we lose the freedoms we have fought for, but eventually, they, too, will lose the freedoms they have become accustomed to. They just don’t see that yet.

Pic of the Day

Moment of Zen: Art

Pic of the Day


Friday couldn’t come soon enough this week. Nothing particularly bad happened, but it’s been a long and busy week. It’s one of those weeks where I’m juggling a dozen different tasks all at once, even the two days I ended up working from home. I’m hoping today won’t be too crazy, but there’s still a lot on my plate to get done. Hopefully, I can just relax most of the weekend. I do have to go in on Sunday afternoon, but hopefully, this is the last Sunday I’ll have to work, at least for a while. 

Have a good Friday everyone and enjoy the weekend!