Tolstoy. Yasnaya Polyana.
Wainamoinen, along with Sigurd, Beowulf, and the Valkyries, lift the Persona from the Isle of green to a grove of green, turning toward early fall, as through a swirling tunnel of time, to a birch bench. Tolstoy guides me further along the path, discusses his religious beliefs, mourns his mistakes, grieves Russia’s collapse into the crevasse of modernity. Two young poets swept away into the gulag emerge to carry the Persona from Russia, with Hadji Murad, heading south.