Boris Pasternak

Russia
10 Feb 1890 // 30 May 1960
Poet / Writer

I Will Portray You

I'll stay with you a little, my unforgettable delight, for as long as my arms and my hands and my lips remember you. I'll put my grief for you in a work that will endure and be worthy of you. I'll write your memory into an image of aching tenderness and sorrow. I'll stay here till this is done, then I too will go. This is how I will portray you, I'll trace your features on paper as the sea, after a fearful storm has churned it up, traces the form of the greatest, farthest-reaching wave on the sand. Seaweed, shells, cork, pebbles, the lightest, most imponderable things that it could lift from its bed, are cast up in a broken, sinuous line on the sand. This line endlessly stretching into the distance is the frontier of the highest tide. That was how life's storm cast you up on my shore, O my pride, that is how I'll portray you.

Boris Pasternak, in 'Doctor Zhivago'
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays