Snow keeps falling night and day –
some god, now turned more strict,
is sweeping out from his domain
scraps of his old manuscripts.
Sheaves of ballads, songs and odes,
all that now seems bland or weak –
he sweeps it down from his high clouds,
caught up now by newer work.
by Варлам Тихонович Шаламов (Varlam Tikhonovich Shalamov)
(1950 – or at least the incident which inspired the poem occurred then)
translated by Robert Chandler