A Poet’s Prayer
In 1952, the year he completed his translation of Faust, Boris Pasternak suffered a nearly-fatal heart attack. Three months later, he wrote of it:
In that moment, which seemed like my last, I wanted more than ever to talk with God, to praise all things visible, capture them and record them. Dear Lord, I whispered, I thank you for applying the paint so richly and that in your creation of life and death you speak to us in splendour and music, I thank you that you have made me an artist, that creativity is your school, and that all my life you have been preparing me for this night. And I exulted and wept for joy.
(Stallworthy & France, pp. 38-39)