Saturday Poetry


I love poetry, I love words, pictures, music, people and the combination of these is the utmost thrill to me.

I am introducing a new section, simply titled, Saturday Poetry. Each Saturday I will publish a poem from a new and wonderful book, with a link if you wish to purchase the entire thing. Just a little something extra to enjoy the weekend. Last weekend I published a poem by Andrew McMillian – Jacob with the Angel, from his book Physical. Raw and urgent, these poems are hymns to the male body – to male friendship and male love – muscular, sometimes shocking, but always deeply moving, here’s a link to that.

This week I am publishing a poem called ‘Silentium’ by Fyodor Tyutchev and translated by Robert Chandler. It is from The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, see here.


Be silent, hide away and let

your thoughts and longings rise and set

in the deep places of your heart.

Let dreams move silently as stars,

in wonder more than you can tell.

Let them fulfil you – and be still.


What heart can ever speak its mind?

How can some other understand

the hidden pole that turns your life?

A thought, once spoken, is a lie.

Don’t cloud the water in your well;

drink from this wellspring – and be still.


Live in yourself. There is a whole

deep world of being in your soul,

burdened with mystery and thought.

The noise outside will snuff it out.

Day’s clear light can break the spell.

Hear your own singing – and be still.

‘There is a whole deep world of being in your soul’ … from Silentium by Fyodor Tyutchev. Photograph: Fredrik Skold/Alamy

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